For decades, the trucking industry has relied on paper-and-pencil logs to calculate how long drivers are on the road. In the past decade though, with increasing awareness of fatigue and its impact on drivers, the old system of tracking hours worked has fallen under scrutiny. These types of logs can be easily altered, causing “violations of federal law that put lives at risk,” explains a recent Fleet Owner article.
In response to concerns about driver fatigue and the fact that it can lead to serious or fatal truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA for short, is once again looking into the development and implementation of electronic logging devices, or ELDs. Though their primary function will be to highlight when a driver is violating federal hours-worked laws, these devices will also help trucking companies uncover problem drivers, giving them grounds to pull a driver off the roads before their negligence leads to a crash.
Some still believe that reducing the number of hours truck drivers are legally allowed to do in a given window of time is the best way to reduce the number of truck driving accidents across the nation. Though stricter driving regulations had been in effect recently, they are no longer applicable because more statistics regarding the dangers of fatigue were needed in order to continue implementing the rule.
Because ELDs will be able to track hours logged for truck drivers, it’s possible that the data could be used then to bolster arguments regarding regulations concerning hours on the road. Only time will tell though if ELDs become the benefit many are hoping it will be.