Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: Electronic Logging DevicesJune 11, 2017
Until recently, commercial truck drivers had been using paper logbooks to keep track of their hours of service (HOS). However, effective December 18, 2017, truck drivers were required to switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs), which automatically record a driver’s activity while they are on duty. The following facts provide additional insight into the benefits of ELDs:
- ELDs can help save lives. According to the FMCSA, ELDs can save an average of 26 lives and prevent 1,844 commercial motor vehicle accidents each year.
- The number of fatalities from truck accidents is small compared to the overall vehicle crash fatality rate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, 4,067 people died in crashes involving large trucks, 667 of whom were the occupants of the trucks. However, 35,092 people overall died in car accidents in the same year.
- The overall number of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. is high. The NHTSA reported that more than six million motor vehicle accidents occurred in 2015, resulting in over 1.7 million injuries and close to 32,170 fatalities.
- ELDs can help reduce drowsy driving. The FMCSA found that truck drivers who were on duty for more than eight hours without a break were twice as likely to be involved in an accident compared to those who were on the road for a shorter period of time. ELDs enforce drive time, reducing the risk of truck drivers remaining on duty longer than the 11-hour daily drive time limit and driving while drowsy.
- Truck drivers with health issues have greater risk of crashing. Researchers from the University of Utah Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health found that truck drivers who have multiple health issues, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, are more likely to be involved in a truck accident that truck drivers who only have one condition.
- ELDs reduce truck accidents and HOS violations. A study conducted by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that there were close to 12 percent fewer crashes involving trucks whose drivers used ELDs compared to those who used paper logs. In addition, drivers who used electronic logs had over 50 percent fewer violations.
- Truck accidents have a financial impact on society. The majority of costs associated with truck accidents is paid through taxes, insurance premiums, fuel consumption, and increased environmental impact, as opposed to the individual crash victim.
- Cost per crash can cost millions of dollars. The FMCSA reports that the average crash can cost between $331,000 to $533,000, whereas the cost of a crash involving a fatality can cost up to $11.7 million.
- ELDs can save trucking companies money. The FMCSA estimated that the use of ELDs would save over $1 billion by using significantly less paper. In addition, the efficiency of ELDs will result in less vehicle downtime in the event that law enforcement must conduct a roadside review of driver records.
- ELD deadlines are in effect. All commercial truck should be equipped with ELDs at this point. Fleet and drivers using advanced onboard recording devices have until December of 2018 to comply.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Victims of Commercial Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck, contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our highly skilled team will fight to obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.