New Truck Electronic Logging Devices May Save Lives on the Road

New Truck Electronic Logging Devices May Save Lives on the Road

New Truck Electronic Logging Devices May Save Lives on the Road

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. Protests are taking place around the country by drivers of big rigs objecting to the end of the year implementation of electronic logging devices. The devices were mandated by Congress in order to make the work environment safer for drivers of large trucks and to track, share and manage the logs maintained by drivers, replacing the old way of logging trip information.

What Are Electronic Logging Devices Designed to Do?

These devices log the record duty status of truck drivers. In addition to the driver’s name, date, carrier and identifying numbers of the truck, it includes information about the number of hours a driver is working, stops and rest breaks among other things. The hours are logged when the driver is off duty, the specific hours spent driving, the time sleeping and the hours a truck driver is on duty but not driving. Location is noted in one of three ways: the highways being traveled on, along with the names of the closest towns, the name of the truck plaza and nearest town or the name and numbers of the nearest intersecting highway and nearest town. This information can be used to follow the activities of a driver, and determine whether the driver and carrier are operating in compliance with rules under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Truck Drivers Protest New Electronic Logging Devices

Among other groups of truck drivers across the nation, about 30 drivers of big rigs drove their vehicles to Washington, D.C., on October 4 to protest the new requirement for electronic logging and monitoring that is scheduled to go into effect. They have a number of objections. One truck driver said it would be difficult for him to stop when he was required to because he isn’t always near a truck stop to do so. Another said the logs currently kept on paper are in increments of 15 minutes. The new ELD is much more exact, down to the minute in fact. He said that would place a hardship and additional stress on drivers. Cost of the new device was another consideration. The FMCSA estimates that an ELD will cost truckers around $500 a year, an added expense that drivers of big rigs don’t want.

How Electronic Logging Devices Work

The device is connected to the truck’s engine so that it is able to determine motion. The driver logs in and selects whether he or she is on duty, on duty without driving or off duty. Some ELDs are expected to work on smart phones. The ELD is expected to be a tool for truckers to analyze logistics.

Falsifying Truck Driver Logs

Truck drivers may work only 70 hours a week for their safety and the safety of other motorists. The new logs, enabling drivers to track hours of service, will be a better way to ensure that the number of hours are not exceeded. In some instances, this may be seen as an intrusion by both truckers who need to make a living and trucking companies who want to get the goods to market in the quickest amount of time. Unfortunately, falsifying logs could, in the past, turn into deadly accidents when truckers fell asleep at the wheel. Since trucker logs are routinely examined after an accident has occurred, this would make it easier to examine them. In addition, while this tracks hours of service, it does not track maintenance and inspection.

Negligent Behavior

There are many reasons truck accidents happen, including reckless driving, driving while inebriated, speeding and aggressive driving. Trucking companies should train drivers, however, in many cases, truck driver training is lacking. An example of how speed affects safety on the road is when a truck jackknifes from taking a curve too fast.

Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents can cause traumatic injuries such as brain injury. ELDs are one way to ensure that truckers are not drowsy when driving, a major cause of truck accidents. If anyone in your family died due to a trucker’s negligence or that of the trucking company or if you were injured due to that negligence, I can offer free and friendly advice. Just call me at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.

I have been working with Fresno and Northern Californians for 35 years to help them garner the compensation they need. Learn more about my practice by going to Google +, Yelp or Avvo to read comments by prior clients and some of my peers. You can also see more at my settlements and verdicts page to learn how I helped clients in the past.

If you are interested in perusing more legal topics, continue on exploring my website, owned and created by me. You can also look at to learn about the forum of attorneys I belong to who have won $1 million cases. 

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