Residents in Kentucky who have ever heard or seen stories about accidents involving semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles have good reason to be concerned about these events. Very often, commercial drivers work long hours and may be prone to becoming fatigued which, in turn, may increase the risk of an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed a new set of rules dictating when rests are to be taken and identifying the maximum number of hours that may be worked each day or week.
In an effort to force compliance with these rules, the FMCSA has also mandated that truck drivers install and use electronic logging devices in their vehicles. These systems communicate with the vehicle's ignition and automatically log the date, time and location of all engine starts. The logs are able to report how much time a vehicle has been actively in motion and how much time it has spent idling.
The push to use these devices was not without some controversy in the industry. Previously, drivers used old-fashioned pen and paper to record their driving times. This obviously left the door wide open for records to be adjusted in order to appear to comply with regulations about driving hours and rest breaks. The electronic devices prevent such things and provide a more accurate picture.
Fleet Owner reports that preliminary data, while anecdotal in some cases, does seem to show that commercial drivers who are using electronic logging devices are actually getting more rest than they were before using the ELDs.