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How do electronic trucking logs help reduce truck accidents?

The trucking industry has a large presence on the roadways in West Virginia and other states across the nation. While these large vehicles help to deliver goods and shipments within and across states, semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks pose various risks to those they share the road with. Both trucking companies and truck drivers owe a duty to other travelers on the road, and if they are not complying with federal trucking regulations it could result in a serious truck accident.

How do electronic trucking logs help reduce truck accidents? While federal trucking regulations require that truck drivers log their hours, all commercial truck drivers will soon be required to log their hours with an electronic logging device. This mandatory device will be in effect by early December of 2017, and an estimated 3 million commercial drivers will have their hours of service accurately logged by this new complex system.

Currently, it is difficult to verify the hours of service reported by truck drivers and trucking companies, causing concern for non-compliance. With an electronic system, it is will it very difficult for a driver to go over their hours, thereby significantly reducing danger from driver fatigue.

This system will essentially unmask violators because it will accurately log driving time to the very minute, detailing the engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and the location of the vehicle. It is expected that this mandatory electronic system will save 26 lives a year and prevent 562 injuries caused by truck accidents.

While technology helps to improve safety on the roadways, this will not prevent all violators or negligence. If a truck driver is negligent while behind the wheel, the driver could cause a collision. Following a truck crash, it is important to understand cause and fault. Having access to an electronic logging device could help with the investigation of the incident. This could determine whether the truck driver was negligent, helping victims seek compensation from the negligent party.

Source: Department of Transportation, "Electronic Logging Devices Hours of Service Supporting Documents," Accessed on Feb. 19, 2016

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