Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky will soon be required to log their hours of service with electronic devices. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation mandates truckers to start using electronic logging devices in December 2017. The electronic logging devices will replace the handwritten logs that commercial truck drivers have long used to track their hours of service.

The FMCSA first issued an electronic logging device rule in 2010, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit to keep it from being implemented. The court that heard the case at the time agreed that the rule as written did not sufficiently address the issue of possible harassment of drivers by their employers.

The rule was revised to address that issue, but in 2016 the OOIDA filed a lawsuit on behalf of two commercial truck drivers who opposed the rule. The OOIDA said that the issue of mandated electronic logs was very important to small business truckers. On Oct. 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled against the OOIDA and in favor of the FMCSA's move to mandate the use of electronic logging devices.

Keeping track of hours of service in the commercial trucking industry has long been a key safety concern for federal regulators. Hours of service are tracked in an effort to prevent commercial truck drivers from working too long and driving while they are exhausted. Drowsy drivers are one of the leading causes of semi truck accidents, and occupants of other vehicles who have been seriously injured in such a wreck may want to meet with an attorney and discuss how best to seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses.