Readers of our Pennsylvania personal injury blog know that drowsy driving has become a real problem on our streets and highways. People who get behind the wheel when they are tired are doing everyone a disservice. Being sleepy while driving can have effects similar to drinking and driving: slowed reaction times, irregular movements and a higher likelihood for accidents.

When a drowsy driver is driving a commercial vehicle such as a tractor-trailer or a bus, the possibility of a fatal crash becomes all the more pronounced. There are regulations in place that require commercial vehicle drivers to limit their hours in order for them to get sufficient sleep. However, in most cases, these are self-reported limits, so drivers can easily fudge their records in order to get more hours on the road.

The federal government is proposing that this reporting be taken out of commercial drivers’ hands. This would be accomplished by installing an electronic tracking device on vehicles that would show exactly when drivers had been on the road. The thought is that this would make drivers more likely to adhere to the rules and get their necessary sleep.

If enacted, officials say it could have a tangible effect on preventing accidents. They estimate that there would be about 20 fewer fatalities and more than 400 fewer injuries every year if these regulations are adopted.

When people are injured in motor vehicle accidents through no fault of their own, they need to know they can seek experienced legal advice regarding their case.

Source: Associated Press, “Devices to track truck, bus driver hours proposed,” Joan Lowy, March 13, 2014