It’s winter weather and holiday driving can be hazardous on icy roads and skid-prone conditions. Add trucks and semitrailers to the mix and an accident is much more severe when a large vehicle loses control on the road.
When a truck collides which a smaller passenger vehicle, a disastrous injury occurs more often to the occupants of the other smaller vehicle. To protect all drivers, in 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed and adopted a rule requiring Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to be utilized in large trucks. ELDs are akin to those black boxes you hear about in planes, which help investigators understand how and why an accident happened. Similarly, ELDs in commercial trucks electronically record data from a vehicle’s sensors which can be subsequently downloaded.
Currently, much of a truck driver’s accountability stems from his or her own written records, but the ELDs will ensure that the truck driver can not cheat the system or inadvertently make a mistake. ELDs record speed, when the truck is in motion and other significant pieces of data.
The Trucking Industry Must Utilize ELDs by December 16, 2019
Although the ELD rule was adopted in 2014, the FMCSA understands that changes do not happen overnight. Accordingly, the trucking industry was given a grace period to incorporate the rule into practice and during that period, records could be kept through paper logs, logging software, automatic onboard recording devices or appropriately registered ELDs. The grace period ends December 16, 2019 and on that date, all drivers subject to the rule must use certified and registered ELDs.
While there are exceptions to the rule, in general if the truck driver was originally required to provide logs showing their hours of service then they are subject to the ELD requirement. While some drivers have met this new requirement with skepticism, the FMCSA maintains that ELDs will reduce risk of accidents and will also allow for a more streamlined collection of data.
ELDs can Help Answer Questions About Liability in a Trucking Accident
The ELDs will play an important role in the legal arena, as well. If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident, then you will have to prove that the truck driver acted wrongfully in some way. Maybe they were driving too fast, or perhaps they were drowsy. Truck drivers, their employers and their insurance companies oftentimes have a team of lawyers helping them avoid liability and so it is imperative that you also obtain a personal injury attorney right away.
Obtaining evidence from an opposing party can be difficult and is often subject to strict court rules. During a time when you are already reeling from a terrible accident, it is advised that you seek professional legal help. You will need an accident attorney who not only understands the litigation process, but also acts as your advocate during a time when you need it most.
Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. always provides a free initial case evaluation and will help you pursue the necessary legal action if you have been involved in a truck wreck accident. Our experienced Illinois truck accident attorneys understand the importance of monetary justice when a victim is facing current and future medical bills in addition to being unable to work. A personal injury accident happens in an instant, but the effects can last a lifetime. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you.