Residents in California often see semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles on area roads and highways. These vehicles are an important means of delivering goods to stores and to consumers. However, many truck drivers often work long hours and must find ways to avoid getting fatigued when behind the wheel. This safety issue is one that is at the heart of some rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The FMCSA has regulations in place that limit the number of hours a trucker may work and drive in a given day and in a given work week. One of the ways that the agency monitors this is through the capture of data from electronic logging devices, or ELDs. It is now required that any truck driver who must provide Hours of Service records to the FMCSA must also operate a vehicle equipped with an ELD.
An ELD is connected to a truck's engine and can monitor and record the amount of time the engine is on. It also identifies how much time the vehicle is moving and how much time the vehicle is spent simply idling. Location, date and time as well as driver identification is also captured via these devices.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show that the number of people killed in large truck accidents in California has increased every year from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, there were 259 deaths in these crashes. In 2017, 361 people died in wrecks involving large commercial vehicles. This reality highlights the importance on ongoing safety measures for truckers.