Electronic Logging Devices In Commercial Vehicles
Crashes with commercial trucks rarely end well for the smaller vehicle. The extreme mass of these vehicles makes the impact far harder and more deadly. But determining whose fault it was for the crash can be difficult.
One way that a personal injury lawyer can prove it was a trucker’s fault is by consulting their work logs.
If it can be proven they were driving longer than they are allowed to according to law, then driver exhaustion could have been a factor in the crash. However, at least until recently, this sort of information was kept on falsifiable paper logs.
But now the DOT has stepped in to require drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their vehicles starting in December 2017 if they didn’t already have them. Older vehicles with other electronic logging technology have until December 2019 to update their devices to meet the new standards.
These devices aren’t just time trackers. They do a lot of things, including:
* Show if the truck is in motion, powered, and how many miles it has driven
* The identification of the driver.
* The duty status of the driver.
* Allow drivers to see how many hours they’ve worked.
* Allow safety officers and law enforcement to pull the data wirelessly or through USB.
Truckers are required to only drive 11 hours a day maximum and have mandatory rest breaks.
They are designed to prevent driver exhaustion. However, in the pursuit of more money and faster deliveries, truckers do break the law. The DOT predicts that these devices will prevent 1,844 crashes, 562 injuries, and save 26 lives annually by keeping exhausted drivers off the road.
Major commercial transport companies like FedEx and UPS have used similar devices to track their employees, and many commercial trucking companies have made the switch to earlier versions of these devices. However, some independent drivers have pushed back against the new rules. They do not want to be tracked by the government. However, all challenges to the rules have been denied in court and full implementation is likely to happen.
What this means for people injured in accidents with commercial trucks is that there’s a new way to gather evidence. If a trucker was driving unsafely by putting in too many hours or otherwise breaking federal trucking laws, these devices can prove it. As the data from the Department of Transportation shows, these devices can save lives and prevent injuries.
However, they’re not quite like commercial flight recorders. There are many different models on the market that tie into the engine in different ways. While they’re all required to comply with the law, they may not record extra things that could be useful in a case like sudden acceleration or deceleration. Nevertheless, ELDs will provide personal injury lawyers with new tools to go after irresponsible truckers.
Have you been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, or lost a loved one due to a trucker’s carelessness?
Fight back for the compensation you deserve. Galligan Law is ready to represent you. Contact our offices for a free consultation.