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Agency Grants Funding for Study of Electronic Log Books

Aug 24, 2012 Brown Moore Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency in charge of creating new regulations for trucking companies and their drivers. The agency has long been concerned with the further reduction of deaths caused by trucking accidents, and every trucking accident that occurs throughout the country is extensively studied in an effort to understand what caused the crash.

One of the factors often examined concerns the condition of the truck driver. Drug and alcohol tests may be performed to see if the driver was under the influence. Accident reconstruction experts will try to determine if the driver was speeding or driving in a manner that placed other motorists at risk. If a driver or company was found to have repeated safety risks, they could both be ordered “out of service” until the necessary changes were implemented.

One of the tools that the agency had proposed in helping with these accident investigations concerned the use of electronic on-board recorders. The data from these recorders would be used to determine how the drivers were acting prior to the crash, and how vehicles responded when evasive maneuvers became necessary.

The FMSCA hopes to make these devices mandatory and has proposed a new study in an effort to determine the recorder’s usefulness in preventing truck accidents. Researchers with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will begin a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of the devices.

The study will check to see which companies are already using electronic on-board recorders, and how much it costs to operate them. Accident data will also be compiled and analyzed to see if the recorders have any impact on accident rates.

Source: “Study to test effectiveness of EOBRs in compliance, safety” August 10, 2012.