Florida drivers need to navigate many challenges when on the road. Between distracted drivers, drivers who are behaving recklessly, inexperienced drivers, drowsy drivers and those who might be under the influence, auto accidents can happen in an instant. Large trucks are particularly worrisome. Given their size, speed and the distances truckers must travel, there is inherent risk. To emphasize safety, certain requirements are in place. Recently, a widespread expansion of electronic logging devices (ELDs) was implemented. There was hope that this would lower the number of truck accidents. Unfortunately, there has been an increase.
Researchers find that truck accidents rose after ELD mandate
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and lawmakers were under the impression that the time drivers spent on the road was a contributing factor to truck crashes. With that, truckers across the board were required to have an ELD installed. This went into effect in December 2017 with greater enforcement beginning on Apr. 1, 2018. Since then, according to researchers at the University of Arkansas, accidents became more prevalent. Before the mandate, companies with large fleets were already required to have ELDs. The expansion included smaller companies and independent truckers. For the independent truckers, there was an 11.6% increase in collisions. Companies with between two and 20 trucks had 9% more accidents.
ELDs limit time on the road, but might spark other reckless behaviors
Since truckers are required to get their delivery to its destination by a certain time and this directly impacts their job, they may have been prone to ignoring the limits on how much time they spent on the road before ELDs tracked them. Now, they cannot flout those rules and might drive faster, behave recklessly or try to “make up” time in other ways. This is believed to be a factor in the higher number of accidents in the aftermath of the rule.
Truck accidents can cause extensive damage, injuries and death
For those who are simply going about their business on the Florida roads, a truck accident can upend their entire lives. Catastrophic injuries, medical expenses, long-term damage and other issues will come up. They and their families could bear the brunt of the misbehavior and lack of vigilance on the part of a trucker or truck company. When there is a fatality, these problems are exponentially worse. The insurance company might be expected to cover for all that was lost. However, since truck companies and insurers are focused on keeping costs in line, their offer might be limited or they could deny responsibility altogether. For assistance in investigating the case and pursuing the available options, having guidance is vital from the beginning.