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Truck accident statistics stagnant even with new ELD rules

With the number of large trucks that are on the road, there is a natural fear on the part of Ohioans that they will be involved in a truck accident. Their size and speed is compounded by the concern that truckers will be distracted behind the wheel, drive under the influence, and flout the rules for how much time they can spend on the road leading to drowsiness. Rules are in place to reduce the risk, but as one recent study shows, the mandate for truckers to have an electric logging device has not reduced the number of crashes.

With the written logs, it was not uncommon for drivers to write inaccurate information so they could spend more time than they were legally allowed to and try to get their delivery to its destination faster. With the new rules, there has not been a reduction in accidents, but there has been a rise in speeding. There is believed to be a connection between them as drivers are seeking to make better time by going faster instead of going beyond the time constraints for being on the road.

This study generally covers smaller carriers like those who are not working for a trucking company, but are working for themselves as owner-operators. The study was conducted by the University of Arkansas and Northeastern University. It concluded that drivers adhered to the rules for time on the road, but did not find evidence saying that it reduced the number of crashes. The study assessed data from Jan. 1, 2017 to Sept. 1, 2018. For the most part, it used the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data.

Before enforcement started in earnest, there were more than 1,700 accidents per week. It rose to more than 1,900 per week when there was "soft enforcement." After hard enforcement began, it was still approximately the same as it was prior to enforcement at slightly more than 1,700. Unsafe driving violations increased significantly, Smaller carriers had a six percent increase. Larger carriers had a 12 percent increase.

For people who are on the road with these large vehicles, if there was a safer feeling because of the ELD mandate, that should be mitigated by drivers behaving in a riskier manner to account for the new rules. When there are truck accidents, the cause can vary. Having legal assistance to investigate why it happened is key to recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and more. A law firm that specializes in truck accidents will understand the statistics and can help with all aspects of a case.

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