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Have ELDs reduced truck accidents?

The introduction of electronic logging devices was supposed to herald a change in the trucking industry by reducing driver fatigue and making the roads safer, but a recent report claims this has not happened. In fact, Texas residents might be surprised to learn the study suggests that drivers are engaging in unsafe driving practices that might offset any benefits of ELDs.

The team analyzed crash and inspection data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and concluded that the prevalence of ELDs did not have a measureable impact on truck accidents. ELD adoption rates were highest in smaller carriers, as most larger carriers were already running electronic devices prior to the law, and there was little change in the number of accidents.

What was found is that the compliance with hours of service did go up, with violations falling more than 40 percent. However, this may have contributed to the increase in one particularly unsafe driving practice-speeding. This could be because drivers were losing out on productivity and reduced earning potential. This is nothing new-drivers were previously able to drive longer routes by fudging logs, but the introduction of electronic devices made that impossible. Therefore, to counter those losses and avoid violating hours of service rules, drivers are driving faster, with speeding increasing by up to 31 percent.

Driver fatigue contributed to truck accidents, but it is not the only factor-crashes take place for a number of reasons. Regardless of the reasons they take place, truck accidents can wreak havoc in the lives of accident victims and recovering compensation might be possible.