truck_cab_interiorThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates most big rig drivers and trucking companies in an effort to prevent tragic accidents where victims suffer life-altering injuries or die. One way the FMCSA tries to prevent wrecks is by implementing a rule requiring trucks to have electronic logging devices (ELD).

If you're involved in a truck accident caused by driver negligence, you might find the ELD’s data is helpful when you file your claim for compensation.

What Is an Electronic Logging Device?

An ELD allows a commercial vehicle driver and he or her trucking company to easily record compliance with federal hours of service regulations. These rules limit the number of hours that someone can drive during a workday and a work week without taking a required number of hours of rest off-road. This is one of the main ways the FMCSA combats the dangerous circumstances of trucker fatigue that causes so many accidents.

An ELD is often a hardware device installed in a truck. However, newer versions can connect to a smartphone or tablet.

Under a new FMCSA rule that went into effect in December 2015, all commercial transport vehicles are required to be equipped with ELDs. To be approved under the regulation, the ELD must meet the following requirements:

  • Connect to the truck’s engine so that it can record when the vehicle is in motion
  • Permit a driver to login in and select on-duty, off-duty, or on-duty not driving
  • Graphically display a record of duty status that allows the trucker to easily see the number of hours he's worked in a day
  • Provide data in a standardized way that allows the transfer of information to law enforcement officials through wireless web services, USB, and Bluetooth
  • Certified by the provider of the device that it meets the proper specifications

Data an Electronic Logging Device Records

Most trucks must have an electronic logging device by December 18, 2017. However, trucks with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) installed prior to this date won't be required to have an ELD until after December 16, 2019. While AOBRDs can record useful data, an ELD can record even more helpful information because it syncs to the truck’s engine.

Data recorded includes:

  • Hours driven or the time that the engine is running
  • How many miles travelled
  • Truck speed
  • Location and motion of the truck
  • Date and time
  • Operator, trucking company, and vehicle identification information

How ELD Data Can Help You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve

The data recorded from an electronic logging device can provide you with information that can prove that truck driver fatigue, violation of the hours of service regulations, or speeding caused or contributed to causing your truck accident.

Currently, truckers can use a paper log book to record the hours they drive and when they take breaks. Unfortunately, the information in the log book can be missing, incorrectly entered, or altered after a crash. The data from the electronic logging device is much more accurate and cannot be altered after the fact by the driver or trucking company.

In addition, data from the electronic logging device can be compared to what a trucker claims happened and used to verify what he or she says. For example, a truck driver could claim that he stopped for a break when he did not. By checking the ELD data, you could prove that the trucker was not truthful. This can strengthen your claim and quicken the time it takes to reach a settlement.

Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?

If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.


James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.