According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 3,500 large truck crashes occur each year. Many of them result in catastrophic injuries to the victims. In hopes of bringing those numbers down, and to ensure compliance with current trucking regulations, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has mandated that all trucks start using Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), which are akin to the black boxes found in airplanes.
Will these devices really improve road safety, and what might it mean when crashes do happen in the future? The following explores possible answers to these questions, and provides you with some key details on how you can improve your chances of a fair settlement if you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a trucking accident.
ELD Usage Expected to Improve Accountability
Driver fatigue is a real and common issue that causes potentially hundreds, possibly even thousands of truck accidents per year. This is why the DOT has rules and regulations that limit the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel. Unfortunately, enforcement can be spotty, at best, since logging and tracking of driving hours is done by the drivers themselves.
ELDs would change this. Able to monitor and electronically log driving hours in real-time, they would provide the DOT with more accurate data to ensure trucking companies and their drivers are complying with current federal regulations. The end result would potentially be fewer fatigued drivers on the road, which could ultimately improve public and traffic safety.
Negligence and Liability in Trucking Accidents
Although safety is the driving factor behind the ELD systems, they may also play an important role in personal injury cases when truck accidents do occur. ELDs could potentially be used to determine if a driver acted negligently (speeding, changing lanes too quickly, driving recklessly or in a way that suggests intoxication, etc.). As a result, victims may experience fewer obstacles in receiving the fair compensation they deserve for any injuries and/or wrongful death they may have experienced.
Unfortunately, it may be some time before ELDs are widely used in courtrooms and personal injury cases. The DOT has given the industry until December of 2019 to comply. Until then, victims must be diligent in their pursuit for compensation. An experienced attorney can assist with the claims process and ensure that their rights and best interests are protected.
Pursuing Fair Compensation After a Trucking Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, Martinez & Schill, LLP can help. Honest and experienced, our San Diego truck accident lawyers will work hard to ensure you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve. Get the personalized and comprehensive representation you need. Call 619-512-5995 and schedule your consultation with us today.