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Will electronic logging devices reduce the risk of truck accidents?

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are devices that are used to help monitor the amount of time a commercial truck driver spends operating his or her vehicle. These are used in place or in conjunction with traditional paper booking methods.

A regulation was proposed and passed that would require the installation of these devices within commercial trucks in 2017. Those in favor of the regulation state that it will reduce the risk trucking accidents by removing tired and overworked truck drivers. The passage of the regulation continues to be contentious and has faced many courtroom battles. At this time, the next step would be an appeal to the Supreme Court.

What is the controversy about this regulation?

A recent piece in Reuters discussed the requirement, noting controversy exists about the effectiveness of the devices. Some truckers, particularly of smaller trucking companies, are pushing back against the regulation. 84 percent of these smaller operations do not have the logging devices, while the majority of larger trucking companies already have the devices installed within their vehicles.

Law-makers counter that these smaller operations are struggling to meet their bottom line. As a result, they often fudge their books - adjusting their logs in an attempt to make it appear that they are operating within regulatory requirements while they are actually pushing drivers to operate their vehicles beyond hours of service regulations in violation of the rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also states that the use of ELDs would reduce accidents. In fact, this federal agency predicts the law will be directly responsible for 26 lives saved and 562 injuries prevented.

How will this regulation impact those injured in trucking accidents?

Like any other regulation designed to increase the safety of our nation's roadways, a failure to follow the regulation can result in liability if the failure leads to an accident.

If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident and you believe that the truck driver or trucking company was not operating within required regulations, you may be able to hold those responsible liable through a personal injury suit. Contact an experienced trucking accident attorney to discuss your options.

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