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ELDs Making the Road Safer

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers weigh in ELDs making the roads safer. Truck drivers are some of the most highly skilled drivers on our nation’s roadways. In fact, when compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents have a much lower rate of occurrence. However, when struggling with fatigue, even the most highly trained drivers cannot keep themselves or others safe on the road.

Despite trucking regulations that limit driving time to 14 hours on, followed by 10 hours off, truck drivers are still one of the most commonly reported groups of drowsy drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied 141,000 fatal truck accidents and determined that 18,000 of these accidents were caused by drowsy driving.

In an effort to make the roads a safer place for both truck drivers and the drivers that share the roads with them, the FMCSA has enforced new ELD, or electronic logging device, regulations to record a driver’s hours. This device will eventually replace the paper log that truckers are required to keep.

The true purpose of the ELD is to help truck drivers avoid fatigue, by letting them know how much time they have left behind the wheel each day. The FMCSA has reported that commercial drivers that use ELDs have a 11.7 percent lower total truck accident rate than those who do not. This data suggests that E-logs may be an effective way to reduce the occurrences of truck accidents caused by drowsy driving.

Truck Drivers Skeptical of ELD Accuracy

The E-log is not a new concept, but, with some exceptions, the new regulations will require commercial trucking companies to have all trucks equipped with ELDs by December of 2019. Although the American Trucking Association is in support of this rule, truck drivers are concerned about encountering circumstances that could result in the inaccurate recording of hours of service (HOS). For example:

  • Inclement weather
  • Traffic delays
  • Parking issues
  • Excessive idle time during deliveries

Many truckers feel that the paper logs provide a more accurate account of the inevitable problems encountered on the road. For example, a snow storm or traffic jam could cause major delays, falsely packing hours on to a truck driver’s electronic HOS log.

The FMCSA explains that drivers will have ELD editing access, and can leave notation regarding situations that extend drive time. Additionally, the ELD attaches to the engine’s control module and tracks things like running time, GPS location, and total miles driven in a shift. This recorded data can be used to determine discrepancies between total run time and total miles driven.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Uphold the Rights of Those Injured in Truck Accidents

Although the ELD regulations are an excellent attempt to improve the safety of all drivers, truck accidents occur for many reasons other than drowsy driving. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, the dedicated Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can provide you with the service you deserve, while determining what compensation you may be entitled to. Schedule your free consultation now. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or contact us online.