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What Role Can Electronic Logging Devices Play in Truck Accidents?

 Posted on December 04, 2023 in Truck Accident

Texas truck accident attorneyIn recent years, the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) has become mandatory for many commercial truck drivers in the United States. These devices can play a crucial role in determining the causes of truck accidents. With data gathered by ELDs, people who have been injured in collisions with commercial trucks may have the information needed to show that a truck driver had acted negligently or that there were other factors that led to an accident. An attorney who has significant experience successfully prosecuting truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for causing injuries or death to others on roadways can help ensure victims will be properly compensated for all the harms and losses to them and their families.

Understanding Electronic Logging Devices

An electronic logging device is a piece of hardware that connects to a commercial vehicle's engine to record driving time. These devices have replaced traditional paper logbooks, which were prone to errors and falsification. The U.S. Department of Transportation has implemented an ELD mandate, requiring the use of these devices, with the purpose of improving road safety by accurately tracking drivers' hours of service.

ELDs automatically record various data points related to a driver's activity behind the wheel. This may include:

  • Date and Time: ELDs capture precise timestamps for each change in duty status, such as starting or ending driving time.

  • Location Information: GPS technology allows ELDs to track where a driver operates their vehicle at any given time.

  • Miles Driven: The device calculates the total miles covered by a truck during each trip or shift.

  • Engine Hours: ELDs monitor engine usage, providing accurate records of how long an engine was running during specific periods.

  • Duty Status Changes: Any changes between on-duty, off-duty, or sleeper berth status may be recorded by the device.

Using ELD Data in Truck Accident Investigations

When a truck accident occurs, the data collected by an ELD can be invaluable for investigators. At Burress Injury Law, our attorneys have experience reviewing these records and identifying details that can be used to prove liability for a commercial truck accident. Here are some ways this information can be used:

  • Determining Hours of Service Compliance: One of the primary purposes of ELDs is to ensure drivers comply with regulations that limit the number of hours they can drive and require them to take regular breaks. By analyzing the recorded data, our investigators can determine if a driver exceeded their maximum allowable driving time or failed to take required rest breaks.

  • Reconstructing the Accident: ELDs provide accurate timestamps and location information, allowing accident reconstruction experts to piece together what happened leading up to and during the crash. Our attorneys can identify factors such as speeding, sudden braking, or erratic driving behavior that may have contributed to a truck accident.

  • Evaluating Driver Fatigue: Fatigue affecting truck drivers is a common cause of truck accidents. By reviewing ELD data, our investigators can assess whether a driver had sufficient rest before getting behind the wheel or if they were operating their vehicle while fatigued.

  • Determining Speed at Impact: The speed at which a truck was traveling during an accident plays a crucial role in determining liability. ELDs record engine hours and miles driven, and this information can be used to calculate average speeds and evaluate whether excessive speed, equipment failure, or other factors contributed to a collision.

Contact Our Collin County Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Texas, Burress Injury Law can provide you with effective legal representation as you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. We understand the complex factors that affect these cases, and we are dedicated to making sure negligent trucking companies are held accountable for lax safety standards or other practices that lead to dangerous collisions that put people at risk. Contact our Plano commercial truck accident lawyers today at 214-726-0016 to set up a free consultation.

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