Because drowsy driving amongst truck drivers continues to be a safety issue threatening innocent motorists on the road, a new federal rule could help reduce drowsy driving crashes. Although it doesn’t take place until December 16, 2017, a new log rule will require truck drivers to log their time on-duty electronically instead of with paper logs.

When paper logs are used, truck drivers can lie. While not all truck drivers lie in their paper log books, paper logs can be easily falsified. For example, if a truck driver was over his hours, he may manipulate his paper log book to show otherwise and no one would be the wiser.

Although there are Hours of Service rules in place for truck drivers, some truck drivers were ignoring these laws. This is why many truckers were still not getting adequate sleep prior to driving heavy semi-trucks or they continued to drive more hours than they were supposed to in a given time period. As a result, many trucking collisions were still occurring due to tired truck drivers.

Understanding Electronic Logging Devices

Now that trucks made in and after the year 2000 are required to have electronic logging devices (ELD), it should help truck drivers keep track of their Hours of Service compliance and reduce trucking crashes. This is because an ELD will do the following:

  • Record date, time and location information
  • Connect to the engine to record when the truck is in motion (including engine hours and vehicle miles)
  • Allow the trucker to select On-duty or Off-duty
  • Display a Record of Duty Status so a trucker can quickly see how many hours they drive in a day
  • Provide data that can be sent to law enforcement wirelessly

Because an ELD will be able to pull information from the truck’s black box, it can even show if a truck driver has been speeding. Because this technology will better monitor truck drivers, it will make it more difficult for truck drivers who speed and drive over the Hours of Service to continue to manipulate this information. The hope is that with this new onboard recording practice it should help decrease truck accidents because truck drivers will know that their hours are being monitored and will need to comply with the Hours of Service rule.

New Rule Should Reduce Truck Crashes

In fact, in trucks that are already equipped with electronic driver logs (E-logs), data from the Center for Truck and Bus Safety of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that crash rates are significantly lower (a 11.7% reduction) than those trucks not equipped with E-logs. According to a press release issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, the new rule will “save 26 lives and 562 injuries” a year.

While this new rule is great news in an effort to reduce trucking collisions and save lives, there will always be negligent truck drivers on the road who speed, run red lights, or are driving distracted. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident by a negligent truck driver, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer today. Call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld today at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation with an injury attorney who has experience in trucking collisions.