South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Says Recent Truck Accident Highlights Need for Stricter Rules Compliance Measures

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A rule making electronic on-board recorders mandatory on large commercial trucks would help to ensure public safety, says Columbia, S.C., personal injury lawyer Bert Louthian.

Bert Louthian

The rules limit how long truckers can be on the road and are aimed at making sure they get the needed rest to drive safely. We need to ensure truck drivers and truck companies comply with these rules.

A recent interstate truck accident that killed two South Carolina residents illustrates the need for measures that would ensure strict trucker compliance with state and federal hours-of-service regulations, says Columbia, S.C.,truck accident attorney Bert Louthian.

“The rules limit how long truckers can be on the road and are aimed at making sure they get the needed rest to drive safely. We need to ensure truck drivers and truck companies comply with these rules,” says Louthian, a partner in the South Carolina personal injury law firm, The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., which represents car accident and truck accident victims.

“Making electronic on-board recorders mandatory is one step that could be taken to make sure these rules are followed and could help to prevent a tragedy such as this one from occurring,” the truck accident lawyer says.

According to news reports, the truck driver involved in the October 24 big rig accident in Henderson County, N.C., has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault, making a false report about his duty status and failing to have a copy of a required medical certificate.

In addition to the South Carolina couple killed in the truck accident, three others were killed and 10 people were injured.

The truck driver’s company had violated federal regulations 21 times in the 30 months prior to the accident, including multiple violations of the logbook requirements that are aimed at documenting compliance with hours-of-service regulations, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

The hours-of-service regulations are a part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in interstate traffic. Similar rules have been adopted by states for intrastate traffic involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semi trucks and big rigs.

Because an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) is integrated with a truck’s electronic control module (ECM), it cannot be tampered with by truckers or their companies. This feature helps to ensure compliance, Louthian says.

In September, the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act (S. 3884) was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill would make EOBRs mandatory within 18 months of the bill’s enactment. It is currently being considered by a committee.

“In addition to using this technology, fatigued driver management programs could also be required,” Louthian says. “What’s clear is that action is needed to keep drowsy truck drivers off the road and to protect innocent motorists from devastating accidents.”

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, S.C., has been obtaining fair compensation for personal injury victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has more than 50 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving medical malpractice; car, truck and motorcycle accidents; and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or through its online form.

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