Hot Topic: Electronic Truck Driver Logs

Sep 23, 2016

Fatigue is particularly scary when it affects drivers of large trucks and other commercial vehicles. Anyone who has seen an 18-wheeler accident on the side of the road knows just how dangerous these accidents can be for those involved. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plays a significant role in identifying safety issues and implementing regulations to improve large truck and bus safety. A major undertaking of the FMCSA is hours of service (“HOS”) regulations, which are designed to ensure that drivers take adequate sleep and rest breaks. Shoring up the HOS regulations are electronic log books, which will bolster the accuracy of driver records.

In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that large truck driver error that was a critical reason leading to an estimated 87% of crashes in a representative sample. In the same study, the FMCSA determined that driver fatigue was an associated factor in 13% of large truck crashes.

Revised regulations mandating the use of driver’s log books, also known as “electronic logging devices” or “ELDs,” begin to go into effect later this year. These devices will automatically synchronize with truck engines, leading to the following positive effects:

  • Increased accuracy of log books due to their automation and a lack of human input;
  • Structured log book information in software to allow drivers and companies to manage scheduling issues and fatigue; and
  • Enhanced compliance with federal laws and rules, such as the HOS regulations.

The widespread hope is that ELDs will reduce driver fatigue and resulting accidents for the drivers and the travelling public.

Most bus and truck drivers will be required to implement this technology, with few exceptions targeted toward local driving and tow drivers.

The use of ELDs should benefit drivers who are involved in accidents with large trucks and buses. Logs should be easier to locate, as well as being more accurate, in litigation helping the attorneys of Gray Law Group maximize the recovery for our clients.

To read more about truck driver fatigue, please see our earlier blog here.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Wright Pichon & Gray are experienced in litigating personal injury cases involving commercial vehicles, and understand the significance and nuances of motor carrier law and regulations. For a free case evaluation, contact us.

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