In December 2017, truck drivers in Illinois and elsewhere were required to start using electronic logging devices (ELDs). Generally speaking, truck drivers tend to not like the requirement. In fact, some have complained that it makes their jobs more dangerous and reduces their pay. The electronic devices monitor a vehicle’s engine to determine how many hours it has been driven in a given day. In the past, drivers had the option of using an ELD or logging their hours by hand.
The main advantage of the ELD law is that it doesn’t allow drivers to manipulate their service records. This means that they aren’t allowed to spend more time on the road than the law allows. Drivers are generally on duty for up to 14 hours, and they can drive up to 11 hours consecutively during that period. Furthermore, they must stop driving for 30 minutes at some point during those 14 hours.
Once the 14 hours have passed, drivers must then spend 10 consecutive hours resting. Drivers say that they often burn available driving hours simply waiting for deliveries to be loaded. Increased enforcement of hours has resulted in shipping companies having to increase driver pay. That has caused increased costs for consumers. Amazon raised the price of its Prime membership in the first quarter of 2018, citing higher shipping costs.
Victims of truck accidents involving tired drivers may wish to pursue legal action. An accident caused by truck driver negligence may result in an injured victim receiving compensation. Evidence of negligence could include driver hour logs, driver statements or toxicology reports. Witness statements and physical evidence from the scene of a crash may also be used to gain leverage in settlement talks. If necessary, a personal injury case may have to be resolved through a trial.