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Will Electronic Hour-Logging Devices Make Trucks Safer?

Will Electronic Hour-Logging Devices Make Trucks Safer?

Since the 1930s, when federal regulations were put into place to reduce accidents by limiting the time truckers spend on the road, truck drivers have been required to track their hours and miles driven in log books. For most of this time, truckers logged their hours in conventional books, but these paper records have been found to be notoriously unreliable. Most long-distance drivers are paid by the mile, so they have an incentive to drive as fast as they can, for as long as they can. This means there are definite benefits to ignoring hours-of-service rules requiring breaks and sleep. To avoid trouble, truckers have been known to write down false hours in their log books. New rules, however, are poised to eliminate falsified log books and reduce cases of fatigued driving by truckers by mandating electronic hour-logging devices, or ELDs.

Automated logging could increase compliance

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated that ELDs be added to all commercial trucks and buses by the end of 2017. ELDs record information about the movement and location of trucks as well as the number of hours the engine is on.

These devices are expected to decrease the number of trucking companies who overwork their drivers. Regulators hope that reducing the number of fatigued drivers on the road can help bring down the number of people killed or severely injured in wrecks involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. In fact, the FMCSA estimates that the new rules will help prevent more than 1,800 crashes and save 26 lives each year. These new logs should also provide attorneys with more accurate information for clients injured in truck collisions by showing that drivers failed to follow safety protocols.

If you or someone close to you has been seriously injured in a tractor-trailer wreck, contact the determined Atlanta truck accident attorneys at McMenamy Law LLC.