Posted On February 5, 2018 In Truck Accidents
A debate is ongoing over the recent mandate for electronic logging devices (ELDs) on large commercial trucks. On December 18th, many commercial trucks were required to start using ELDs, devices that automatically record driving data from the engine. Some carriers have used ELDs for years, but now they are mandatory for a majority of commercial trucks. The rule was created to make it more difficult for commercial truckers to violate regulations that prevent drowsy driving accidents. Hours of service rules set limitations for how long commercial truckers can drive.
For many years, drivers used paper logbooks to record driving time and to show they were in compliance with hours of service rules. However, drivers could falsify the information in these books to increase their driving times. Proponents of the mandate argue ELDs would catch drivers who are violating hours of service rules. ELDs work by recording truck movement and driving time. Roadside safety inspectors could use ELD data to catch drivers who are exceeding their allotted driving hours.
Public policy initiatives have winners and losers, opponents and proponents. This rule is no different. Opponents to the rule claim that ELDs could jeopardize public safety or put smaller trucking companies out of business.
There is still more work to be done when it comes to preventing truck accidents caused by drowsy drivers. Hours of service violations are one reason why these accidents happen, but there are others. Commercial truckers can also suffer from untreated obstructive sleep apnea. People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea may experience excessive daytime drowsiness and trouble concentrating. As you have already likely guessed, these symptoms increase the risk of a truck crash. According to a Harvard University study, truck drivers with untreated sleep apnea are five times more likely to crash than those who received treatment.
The Department of Transportation stopped pursuing a rule that sought to improve the process for identifying and testing commercial truckers who were at higher risk of suffering from sleep apnea. However, commercial carriers can still choose to test their drivers for the condition.
Mike Love & Associates LLC is a Lufkin, Texas truck accident law firm. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of motor vehicle and truck accidents.
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