Large truck accidents in Kentucky and around the country claimed 4,761 lives in 2017, and the 415,000 collisions involving large commercial vehicles killed 600 truck drivers and injured a further 148,000. The Washington, DC-based Alliance for Driver Safety & Security is working to reduce these numbers, and the trade group, which includes some of the nation’s largest trucking companies, recently submitted a list of proposals to lawmakers on the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
In its proposals, the ADSS, which is usually referred to as the Trucking Alliance, implores Congress to place public safety above industry and operator concerns, and they cite regulations dealing with Electronic Logging Devices as an example of why this needs to be done. The safety benefits of ELDs are well established, but exemptions granted to trucks hauling agricultural products and vehicles that are part of a small fleet would allow 90% of the nation’s trucks to operate without them.
The Trucking Alliance wants ELD regulations to apply to all industry segments and has called for more vigorous drug testing of truck drivers. The group has also called for a nationwide 65 mile-per-hour speed limit for commercial trucks and wants collision mitigation systems to be mandatory safety equipment on all large trucks sold in the United States.
Experienced personal injury attorneys may also support ELD regulations because the information stored on the devices could be used to establish negligence and liability in truck accident lawsuits. ELD data could reveal how fast commercial vehicles were traveling when they crashed and how long truck drivers had been behind the wheel prior to a collision. Based on this information, lawyers could make arguments suggesting that recklessness or fatigue played a role. When ELD data reveals that truck drivers took no evasive action, attorneys may scrutinize cell phone records for evidence of distraction.