Congress is considering a bill that would allow CDL trucks to be nearly three times the size of the current legal limit. In other news, electronic logs to report number of hours driven by CDL workers will now replace handwritten logs. Read more about these stories below.
Potential Increase to Legal Size of CDL Trucks
Congress is currently looking at a bill that would significantly affect drivers in the CDL trucking industry. If the bill passes, it would increase the legal size of trucks and allow workers to drive for longer hours without breaks.
Those expressing concerns or opposed to the bill include the Department of Transportation, police, the Obama administration, and many trucking companies. Those in favor of the bill include FedEx, UPS, and Conway Freight.
The main concern of those against the proposed regulations is safety of CDL drivers and all other drivers and passengers on highways. The bill would allow triple trailer commercial trucks up to 120 feet long, 12 stories high, and 97,000 pounds. Opponents argue that this could increase the amount of injuries and fatalities from collisions of trucks and passenger vehicles.
Current findings from the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety report that there approximately 4,000 people killed and 100,000 injured in accidents involving CDL trucks and passenger vehicles each year in the United States. According the the Department of Transportation, medical costs and the number of disability claims for CDL drivers involved in accidents has steadily increased since 1985. It appears that the new regulations may put trucking industry workers at an even higher risk of injury as they would need to drive larger vehicles for longer hours without breaks for rest.
Online shopping and an inadequate amount of drivers appear to be the motivating factors of those in favor of the bill. Those in support argue that the recent consumer demand for online purchases has increased faster than the trucking industry can keep up. They claim in could help increase efficiency and safety by reducing the amount of CDL trucks on the road. Proponents find the current Department of Transportation limits of 34 hours rest for every 70 hours worked by CDL drivers to increase congestion during the morning hours and peak driving times.
The Department of Transportation is currently conducting new studies to discover what effects an increase in weight and size of CDL trucks could have on highway collisions and injuries. Congress is planning on making a decision on the proposed regulations by the end of 2015.
Electronic Logs for Truck Drivers
In other trucking industry news, electronic logs for truck drivers will soon become standard and replace the current handwritten logs. The reason for the change is that handwritten documents make it easier to report false information. Unfortunately, deadlines and pressure from employers can cause drivers to lie about the amount of hours driven in order to get goods to a certain place on time. The current legal limit for CDL workers is 11 hours driving followed by 10 hours of rest.
The new law is in place to make highways safer and reduce the amount of injuries from truck accidents. Drivers that exceed the legal amount of hours are prone to fatigue and more likely to make errors that can result in collisions. The new electronic logs will make it difficult for drivers to falsify information and violate the regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that drivers using electronic logs saw a 50% reduction in violations and a 12% reduction in accidents compared to those using the handwritten logs. Studies predict that the electronic logs will prevent over 400 injuries and 20 deaths every year.
Speed limiting technology is another change the trucking industry is considering to promote safety. Most fatal trucking accidents involve a truck that was traveling over 55 miles per hour. The technology would not allow the driver to exceed a speed of 55 miles per hour. The proposal is still in its beginning stages and studies are currently being conducted on the benefits and risks.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for CDL Drivers
If you are a CDL driver based in New Jersey that has been injured on the job, you may deserve financial compensation. The best course of action is to consult with a skilled lawyer that can evaluate your situation. They can advise you of your next steps to securing workers’ compensation for your benefits, even if you may have been at fault for the accident.
The Hayes Firm can connect you with an experienced New Jersey lawyer in our network today. All of our lawyers are aware of the pressure that can be put upon CDL drivers by their employers. Our carefully selected attorneys are devoted to fighting for the rights of truck drivers injured on the job. Please contact us today for a free evaluation.