Has this rule change made trucks more dangerous?

Until a few years ago, truckers recorded their hours by hand. It left a lot of room for falsification.

Then, in 2017 the rules changed. Trucks now had to carry an electronic logbook device (ELD). It automatically records data about the driver’s hours, making it more difficult for anyone to falsify the data.

Anything that ensures drivers do not drive above their permitted hours sounds like a great idea. Yet a recent report suggests it has not been as effective as hoped. In fact, it has increased some dangerous driving activities.

Drivers now rush to meet deadlines

Truck drivers have always been under pressure to meet strict deadlines. Yet, with the ELD constantly reminding them how little time they have left before they need to pull over and rest or call it a day, some may race against the clock more than before.

A driver who knows they are one hour away from the depot at normal driving speed but only has 45 minutes before they exceed their hours is more likely to put their foot down. Since the ELD mandate, speeding, poor lane changes, and other dangerous driving behaviors have all increased among truck drivers.

Crashes also increased

Dangerous driving makes crashes more likely. The study found that truck crashes rose 11% since the ELD mandate.

The study does not mention that the government has extended driver’s service hours since ELDs became compulsory. Drivers can now drive longer and further with less rest. That, too, may have contributed to the increase in crashes. You now have drivers who are even more tired than before, rushing to meet deadlines.

Examining the truck driver’s logbook may help you get compensation if injured in a truck crash. Understanding how to get hold of this and other information will be crucial to your success.

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