In December 2017, electronic logging devices (ELD) were introduced to the trucking industry for a three-month introductory period. ELDs track truck drivers’ hours of service, preventing drivers from becoming overworked, overtired, and dangerous behind the wheel. The roll-out began early this year to trucker industry hesitation, but by regulating trucker hours, drivers will obtain the rest they need for optimal safety to protect themselves and other drivers around them.
Regulating Work Hours with ELDs
ELDs are devices that connect directly to the driver’s engine to record when it is in motion. Drivers log in to their ELD and report when they are on-duty, off-duty, or on-duty and not driving. ELDs allow drivers to easily track the number of hours they have racked up in a day or week. Law enforcement officials can legally access ELD data via USB or Bluetooth.
There have been glitches with the introduction of ELDs. Drivers penalized for being over their mandated hours of service complain that more flexibility needs to be built into the system. For example, drivers searching for a safe space to park may exceed their weekly hours through no fault of their own. Overall, however, ELDs are proving to offer many benefits for the trucking industry, such as:
- Improved safety: ELDs offer increased safety and reduced crashes with mandatory rest time and fewer hours on the road.
- Reduced fuel costs: Monitoring speed and idle time helps fleets rethink fuel efficiency
- Reduced fines: Standardizing hours of service rules help truckers stay compliant and avoid fines and penalties
- Streamlined compliance: Submitting data electronically simplifies compliance with the ELD mandate and other federal regulations
Drowsy Driving Truck Accident Risks
According to government officials, drowsy driving is the leading cause of car accidents and fatal collisions. Driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Slowed reaction time, brain fog, and the obvious risk of falling asleep at the wheel make it impossible for sleep-deprived drivers to operate their vehicles safely. One in every seven fatal crashes involves a commercial truck.
In 2013, the government reduced the trucking work week from 82 to 70 hours, with mandatory 34-hour rest periods in between. This initiative was designed to protect truckers and other travelers, but it is difficult to enforce when drivers complete their own paper logs. Drivers striving to earn incentives for faster deliveries can easily adjust their hours with manual reporting.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Victims Injured by Negligent Truck Drivers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law are here to help. We thoroughly represent victims with confidence and determination, taking on truck companies and their insurance companies to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 856-414-0010 or contact us online today. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and proudly serve residents throughout the surrounding areas.