As of December 2017, all commercial truck drivers who currently use paper logs to track their time will be required to make the switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs). The move is intended to cut down on driver fatigue by more accurately tracking the number of hours that drivers spend on the road, and preventing log falsification that could contribute to serious injuries on the road. Traditional paper logs have been so easy to falsify that some in the trucking industry have called them "comic books."
The move to ELDs has been gaining support, with some drivers appreciative of having less paperwork to do. With ELDs, a push of a button eliminates the need to scribble data in a notebook. But ELDs are not cheap, and smaller carriers have objected to the costs and intrusion of the technology into their cabs. Many commercial drivers appear to be waiting until closer to the December 2017 deadline to outfit their rigs with the new devices.
Whether ELDs ultimately translate to fewer accidents on the road remains to be seen. While the aim is to reduce driver fatigue by making log falsification more difficult, some have pointed out that drivers could technically continue to work extra hours– for example, by loading or unloading a truck — and that time would still not be trackable by the device.
If the devices do end up reducing trucker fatigue, however, this would be a welcome development. Fatigue and distraction are major problems and contributors to serious injury on our nation's roads. Truck driver fatigue is particularly dangerous as the size and weight of trucks make it much more likely that collisions involving these types of vehicles will result in catastrophic injury.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a commercial truck, you know all too well the damage and expense these collisions can cause. A personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable about truck accidents can help you determine if a lawsuit could help you recover compensation for the injuries sustained as a result of that accident.