Electronic Logging Devices May be Preventing Truck Accidents

Truck pulling into frame in front of trees and blue sky at dusk or dawn

More Truck Drivers are Sticking to Required Work Hours with Electronic Logging Devices

Fatigue is one of the primary reasons that truck accidents happen when the truck driver is at fault. In other words, due to long hours on the road and driving beyond the maximum number of hours permitted for work by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), many truckers get tired behind the wheel and cause drowsy driving accidents that result in fatal or severe auto accident injuries. However, according to a recent article in Trucks.com, electronic logging devices (ELDs) may be keeping more truck drivers to work-hour regulations and thus preventing dangerous trucking crashes.

With the introduction of ELDs, fewer truck drivers are on the road for extended periods of time. Indeed, according to Ray Martinez, the current FMCSA Administrator, because ELDs have been adopted by semi-truck drivers, “hours of service violations are down 48 percent year over year.” That is an enormous reduction in the rate of truckers who exceed the maximum number of permitted hours on the road. Since last year, truck drivers have been required to use ELDs in order to log their hours on the road automatically. As a reminder, federal regulations require truckers to spend “no more than 11 hours of driving within 14 consecutive hours,” and truckers must have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before getting behind the wheel of a semi-truck again for work.

While many truckers initially opposed the use of ELDs, “arguing the devices are not accurate, are prone to malfunction, and hinder the flexibility they need to deal with unexpected traffic or a lack of safe truck parking areas,” numerous truck drivers are now coming around to the benefits of ELDs in preventing truck and auto accident injuries. Commentators suggest that the ELD regulations actually will give drivers more flexibility because everyone will be “on a level playing field.” Drivers will not be asked to work illegally beyond the regulated time limits, and fewer drivers are likely to be involved in fatigued driving crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, contact a truck accident lawyer to discuss your options for filing a claim.

Getting the Facts About Truck Accidents and Auto Accident Injuries

How often do deadly truck crashes happen, and where do they occur most frequently? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) report the following facts and figures about fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2016:

  • Most truck accident fatalities were suffered by occupants of smaller passenger vehicles;
  • 3,986 people sustained fatal auto accident injuries in truck collisions;
  • In two-vehicle accidents involving large trucks and passenger vehicles, 97% of fatal injuries were sustained by occupants of smaller passenger vehicles;
  • In all accidents involving large trucks, 66% of fatal injuries were sustained by occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, while about 17% of fatal injuries were sustained by truck drivers and 16% by pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists;
  • Truck accident fatalities have risen by 27% from 2009 to 2016; and
  • More large truck occupants are sustaining fatal injuries in crashes than ever before, with a 47% increase in truck driver deaths from 2009 to 2016.

If you or someone you love got hurt in a collision with a large truck, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help with your case.

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