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What Are Electronic Logging Devices in Commercial Trucks?

What Are Electronic Logging Devices in Commercial Trucks?

Despite attempts from the trucking industry and others who have financial stakes in transporting large amounts of cargo at the expense of public safety, lawmakers and regulators have worked hard to develop new technology that keeps our roadways say. These include electronic logging devices (ELDs), which are on-board electronic units that record the amount of time a vehicle is active and on the road.

Electronic logging devices were developed to combat the issue of driver fatigue, which has been found to pose crash risks equivalent to drunk driving. In fact, a recent AAA Traffic Safety Foundation study noted that missing even 1 to 2 hours of sleep in a single night can double a driver’s crash risk. Missing 3 hours can make them as dangerous as a driver with a BAC of .08, the threshold for being considered too drunk to drive.

Because tired drivers are a risk in any vehicle, and even more so when behind the wheel of a massive commercial vehicle or tractor-trailer, ELDs have become essential to keeping tired truckers off the road. In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), adopted new rules to require most trucks engaged in interstate travel to be equipped with ELDs.

Here are a few details about electronic logging devices and safety regulations surrounding them:

  • Most commercial trucks and buses engaged in interstate travel must be equipped with Electronic Logging Devices per the FMCSA ELD Rule.
  • ELDs are designed to replace paper driving logs, which truckers and companies kept by hand. The electronic devices are more accurate and efficient, and are less susceptible to fraud than paper logs.
  • ELDs help supplement Hours-of-Service rules, which place strict limitations on the number of hours truckers can work, be on duty, and be behind the wheel.
  • Vehicles with ELDs will have the number of hours the vehicle is in motion and the times during which it operates recorded automatically.

As we have seen throughout our 25 years representing victims of serious truck accidents across the Antelope Valley, tired and overworked truckers can create devastating consequences. This was illustrated explicitly in the high profile Walmart trucking crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one victim. That driver, it was discovered, has been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the wreck.

In addition to ensuring drivers and trucking companies abide by the laws, electronic logging devices are also helpful to victims and families who seek financial compensation for their damages following preventable truck accidents. When working with an attorney, victims can investigate these device logs to determine whether any hours-of-service rule violations were made, and whether fatigued and overworked drivers may be to blame. These investigations, and exploration into other potential causes, are critical to helping victims secure the full and fair compensation they deserve.

Accident Attorneys is a Lancaster-based personal injury law firm that has recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients, including those harmed in trucking wrecks that could and should have been prevented. If you were injured in a truck accident, or had a loved one who was harmed or killed in  a serious wreck, we are available to help you through these difficult times – and fight aggressively on your half for justice and compensation. Call (661) 945-4357 today to request a free consultation.

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