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New rule for truckers might not actually enhance safety

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2022 | Truck Accidents

Large trucks and their drivers perform an essential and often underappreciated service of bringing necessary products back and forth across the country. Still, there is no denying the dangers posed by these large, heavy, fast-moving vehicles. People in smaller vehicles, on bicycles or pedestrians must be wary of them. Legislators and regulatory agencies strive to implement rules to try and maximize safety. A recent rule that was meant to reduce accidents might not be having its desired effect. People who were hurt in a crash or lost a loved one should be aware of this.

Electronic logging device

Not long ago, an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate was put into effect for independent truckers and smaller companies. It had been in place for some time for larger companies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) thought this would reduce crashes. However, the statistics show otherwise. In fact, it is believed that the mandate requiring drivers to stick to certain limits as to the duration for which they can be on the road might be leading to other risky activities like speeding and recklessness.

The rule began in December 2017 and enforcement started in April 2018. Since then, researchers found that while drivers were complying with the rules after ELDs were required, there were more truck accidents. Independent truckers had a 11.6% spike. For smaller fleets with two to 20 trucks, it rose by 9%. The FMCSA thought that with the ELD requirement, nearly 1,900 accidents could be avoided with more than 500 injuries and 26 deaths. The early returns show that this was a wildly optimistic estimate that might not have considered how drivers would behave.

Justice after a truck accident

When there has been a truck accident, people can face an array of challenges. That includes medical costs, lost wages, pain and long-term damage. For those who lost a loved one, these challenges are exacerbated. Investigating the truck accident and how it happened is key to deciding how to move forward. If there was a violation found on the ELD, there is evidence of the driver speeding, driving distracted, being under the influence or committing another violation, this can be crucial. Having help from those experienced in these types of incidents is wise from the start.