Truck drivers who are required to maintain record of duty status (RODS) logs will soon be required to use an electronic logging device (ELD) thanks to the mandate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that requires ELDs to be installed in commercial trucks by December 18, 2017. The FMCSA intends for the devices, which connect to the trucks electronic control module (ECM), to automatically record the date, time, location, how long the engine has been running and how many miles the vehicle has traveled. The device must also authenticate the user with their driver ID. An ELD tracks when the vehicle is in motion, when it is shut down and when the driver’s duty status changes.
The goal of the ELD mandate is to automatically provide a tamper-proof record of the driver’s compliance with the FMCSA’s Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. HOS rules govern how many hours a truck driver can drive, how long they can go between breaks and how long those breaks need to be before they can restart their work day. Truck drivers are not supposed to drive for too many days in a row, or drive for more than 11 hours at a stretch.
Until the advent of ELDs, however, truck drivers logged those details on paper logs. If the driver was involved in a truck accident, one of the most important things to examine in the ensuing investigation was the driver’s ROD log. Now that this data is being tracked electronically and directly from the truck’s engine, accident investigators will get an accurate gauge of the factors that might have contributed to causing the crash.
The FMCSA hopes that ELDs will reduce truck crashes from driver fatigue
The Center for Truck and Bus Safety of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted a study that revealed commercial truck drivers who used ELDs had 11.7% fewer crashes and 5.1% fewer predicable crashes than commercial drives who did not use an ELD.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 667 traffic fatalities from truck accidents and 30,000 injuries in 2015, which is up from the previous year by 1 percent and 11 percent respectively.
This is not to say that large commercial truck drivers are the only motorists who drive on too little sleep and cause accidents. Drowsy driving is what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) calls a “public health epidemic,” with more than 70 million American adults having some type of sleep disorder. Tackling the safety challenge of drowsy driving in commercial truck drivers is because they operate massive vehicles that can cause catastrophic accidents when the driver falls asleep at the wheel while driving on the highway among other smaller, more vulnerable passenger vehicles.
The accident attorneys of Crandall & Pera Law understand the severity of injuries associated with accidents caused by drowsy truck drivers, and the financial burdens that often accompany them. You are welcome to reserve a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer by calling 877-686-8879, one of our Kentucky truck crash lawyers by calling 877-686-8879, or filling out our contact form.