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How New Truck Regulations May Help Other Drivers

Posted on in BGL Law
New Truck Regulations May Help Other DriversRoad accidents involving large trucks can be catastrophic and deadly, especially for drivers of other vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,852 people died from accidents involving trucks in the U.S. in 2015. That number is down from peak levels of more than 6,000 deaths per year in the 1970s, and lower than the number of fatalities in the mid-2000s. However, the number has steadily risen each year since 2012.

In an attempt to ultimately decrease those fatality numbers, the federal government has mandated that commercial truck carriers start using Electronic Logging Devices in their trucks.

  • Drivers that use paper logs and logging software must switch to an ELD by Dec. 18, 2017.
  • Some drivers already use Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that work similarly to ELDs but may not be up to the same standards. Those drivers have until Dec. 16, 2019, to switch to an ELD.

The ELD automatically records the vehicle's active hours, miles driven, movement and location. The devices are supposed to make companies more efficient in tracking their drivers, which will hopefully lead to increased safety for the truck drivers and others on the road. All drivers on the road may benefit from the regulations in a couple of ways:

  • An automated recording system makes it easier for roadside safety inspectors to catch if a truck driver is violating a law, such as driving for too many consecutive hours. Paper records can be manipulated.
  • On the other hand, the automated recording system helps protect drivers from being harassed into violating federal driving regulations. Some employers may try to pressure their workers to drive too many hours. The record shows evidence that what the employer is asking the driver to do would violate the law.
  • For other drivers on the road, electronic records are more reliable evidence in case they are involved in an accident with a truck driver and want to prove the driver was negligent.

Not all trucks and drivers are required to comply with the law. Those that are exempt include:

  • Drivers who use paper record for eight days out of a 30-day period.
  • Drivers in drive-away and tow-away operations, wherein they are driving the vehicle being delivered as a commodity.
  • Vehicles that were manufactured before 2000.

Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver or his company. Contact a McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC to schedule a consultation.



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