In an effort to prevent trucking accidents, truck drivers are now required to install electronic logging devices (ELD) on their engines to monitor the amount of time they spend on the road. However, livestock truckers are exempt from ELD regulations because of recent lobbying efforts in the agricultural industry. This presents a safety concern for many drivers.
Prior to ELDs, drivers reported their hours on "paper logs." Under federal law, commercial truckers are subject to a 14-hour rule. Within 14 hours, a commercial driver can drive for up to 11 hours. The other three or so hours can be spent performing other work-related activities. After a driver's 14 working hours are over, a truck driver must spend 10 consecutive hours off-duty before coming on-duty again.
Federal officials believe the new electronic devices will provide more accurate reports and "save dozens of lives and prevent hundreds of injuries" each year. However, animal rights activists argue livestock truckers should receive exemptions from the hour rules because of "animal welfare concerns." These concerns involve the safety of livestock in extremely hot or cold conditions if a driver is required to stop for 10 hours at a time.
Livestock truckers also claim that they are safer drivers than other commercial truckers because they have animals on board. However, this is not necessarily the case. A study conducted a few years ago found more than 400 livestock trucking accidents have occurred since the late 1990s. Data suggests that fatigue was responsible for over 80 percent of the accidents. Tragically, several truck drivers, animals and motorists were injured as a result.
Sustaining an injury in a trucking accident can be devastating. If you or someone you love is injured in a trucking accident, it can be beneficial to speak with an experienced legal professional to help you get the compensation you deserve.