Researchers say large truck crashes spiked after ELD requirement

Researchers say large truck crashes spiked after ELD requirement
Feb 02 2022

Truck accidents are a concern on the roads in Fayetteville, throughout North Carolina and across the United States. Accidents can happen for many reasons and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assesses the causes and strives to formulate strategies to enhance safety. One is the electronic logging device (ELD). This is meant to definitively track how long drivers are on the road to avoid potential dangers from extended driving. However, new research says accidents did not decline after the ELD mandate. In fact, the number increased.

ELDs are not having the desired effect on safety

The ELD mandate became widespread in 2017-18. It sought to address the common challenge of truckers going beyond the legal limits for time spent on the road. Doing so can cause drowsiness, lead to them using various substances to stay awake and force them to take other risky steps. All can cause an accident with injuries and fatalities. The ELD was expected to track their movements and prevent collisions. Unfortunately, according to research from the University of Arkansas, the mandate did not result in a subsequent reduction in truck accidents as the FMCSA hoped.

Drivers were found to engage in other unsafe activities to make up for lost time. For example, to reach their destinations faster, truckers increased their speed. More citations were given for violations like speeding and unsafe activities. There has been a marked improvement in drivers complying with the rules. In the past, smaller carriers and independent truckers who owned their own rigs were not subject to the ELD mandate. Large carriers had been required to follow it before its expansion. After the change, owner-operators had an accident spike of 11.6%. There was a 9% rise for companies that had fleets of two to 20 trucks.

Assessing the cause of a truck accident is crucial when deciding how to proceed

Rules are put in place with the best of intentions, but drivers might try to find other ways to navigate them and maintain productivity to maximize profits. Their companies might be pressuring them to get their deliveries to its destination faster and tacitly encourage flouting the rules. Since truck accidents can do such a significant amount of damage with catastrophic injuries, long-term hospital stays, major medical expenses and the need for rehabilitation and care, those injured should know their rights. The same is true for families who have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident. For help in investigating the case, seeing why it happened and moving forward with a claim, having experienced assistance is vital.

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