Truck accidents in Georgia and across the U.S. can do so much damage. Regulators are constantly seeking ways to improve safety. For a long time, one of the main reasons truck accidents were believed to have occurred is because of drowsy truckers. Frequently, drivers were becoming drowsy after going beyond the rules for consecutive hours on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted a rule that all trucks need to have an Electronic Logging Device installed to prevent the driver from being untruthful when recording their time spent on the road. A new study indicates that the new rules do not appear to have been as effective as expected in reducing crashes.
Northeastern University and the University of Arkansas released their study, showing that while more drivers were complying with the rules, the number of accidents remained relatively static. Using data from Jan. 1, 2017, to Sept. 1, 2018, the researchers analyzed recordable crashes and driver inspections to gauge how effective the mandate has been.
Before the mandate went into effect, there was an average of more than 1,700 accidents each week. When the enforcement was “soft” to give drivers a break at the outset of the new rules, the number rose to more than 1,900 – an increase of more than 11 percent. When enforcement became strict from the beginning of April onward, the number of accidents went back to slightly more than 1,700 per week.
Because trucks are so large, heavy and travel at significant speeds, being in an accident with them when in a passenger vehicle can cause serious injuries or death. While ELD rules were meant to improve safety, this study shows that there could be other problems that come about because of it. When there is a crash, the medical costs, lost wages and long-term damage can be problematic to victims in financial, personal and emotional ways. A law firm experienced in helping clients after truck accidents can assess the case, gather evidence and help with a legal filing for compensation.