Truck accidents are not only far more dangerous than passenger vehicle crashes, but they are also much more complicated than other types of accidents. There are additional parties involved and other sources of evidence that may not be available in other types of collisions. While this can make your claim a little more difficult, it may also give you more evidence that you can use to pursue full compensation.
One of the most valuable sources of evidence in a truck accident is the truck’s electronic logging device. Learn more about how this device can help you, and to talk more about your claim with our team, call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370.
Understanding Driver Regulations
Few fields have their day-to-day work as strictly regulated as the trucking industry. The trucking industry has strict limitations in place to prevent employers from taking advantage of their drivers. While these efforts are not always enough to stop unscrupulous employers, they have done a lot to make the roads safer.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets hours-of-service limitations for truck drivers. These regulations for cargo-carrying drivers include:
- No more than 11 hours of driving after 10 hours off-duty
- Must stop all driving 14 hours after coming on duty, regardless of the amount of off-duty time that occurred in the interim
- 30-minute break required after eight consecutive hours of driving
- Must stop driving before reaching 60 hours of driving in seven days or 70 hours of driving in eight days—this timeframe resets after 34 hours off-duty
- The 10-hour required rest break may be split up, as long as there is one sleeper berth period of at least seven hours
- 11-hour and 14-hour limits may be extended by two hours if there are adverse weather conditions
Why Are Electronic Logging Devices Required?
These standards are pretty cut-and-dry, so you may wonder why it was necessary for the FMCSA to go one step further and start requiring electronic logging devices as of December 2021. To put it simply, drivers and trucking companies were not following these regulations.
While larger companies mostly started using electronic logging devices long before December 2021 for ease of documentation, many smaller companies still used paper logbooks. These logbooks were far easier to manipulate and falsify than automated ELDs, which put drivers on the road for too long and made the roads more dangerous.
Research indicates that accidents actually increased after the introduction of this mandate. Some analysts believe this is because drivers who once violated regulations in order to finish loads were now rushing to finish hauls within the allowed timeframes, indicating that the requirement for ELDs was likely a good decision.
Using ELD Data for Your Injury Claim
There are several ways that ELD data can help you as you seek compensation for a truck accident injury. These devices track a wide range of information, including driving speed, location, hours of service, time since the last break, and driver safety data. Some ELDs also track hard braking, random speeding up and slowing down, and other unsafe behaviors that may be indicative of distracted or reckless driving.
When your attorney gets ahold of the data on the ELD, they can analyze and look for information that may help you get compensation. For example, if the driver missed their last required break period or violated the 14-hour time limit, this could be a sign that they were violating the law and likely driving recklessly. ELDs that have information on swerving, braking patterns, and speeding patterns are especially useful for personal injury claims.
This data is only accessible for a set period of time. If you wait too long to start your claim, this data could be lost forever. It’s important to talk to an attorney early in the process to get the evidence you need.
Choose Peake & Fowler for Your Truck Accident Claim
Select a firm with an impressive track record of successful truck accident claims. At Peake & Fowler, we fight aggressively for our clients. Let’s make a plan and start your claim now. Call us at 803-788-4370 or send us a message online.