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Truckers' electronic logging devices: Will they improve safety?

New federal regulations require truckers to use electronic logging systems in their vehicles to make sure that their location, speed and driving data are known at all times. Earlier this month, truckers protested the safety regulations, saying that the monitoring devices would inhibit their freedom as truckers and make their jobs more difficult.

The question is: Should the truckers concerns be honored, or will these electronic logging devices make truckers drive more safely and ultimately save lives?

Truck drivers don't like the electronic logging devices

The federal government says that the logging devices are all about safety, but drivers believe that the devices are hindering their privacy. A large protest was held in Baytown, Texas, earlier this month. Drivers at the protest said that being on the open road is not only their livelihood, but the freedom it entails is also their passion.

According to one trucker, he gets to wake up in a new state every day, but federal mandates are making it feel like he isn't as free as he used to be -- especially because of the new electronic logging device restrictions. The electronic logging devices, or ELDs, are black boxes that keep track of a driver's personal information, working hours, miles and location. However, many truckers say that the devices are an invasion of privacy and they don't want to share this information.

Truckers compare the devices to an ankle bracelet. One driver said that his vehicle is not only his money-maker, but it's also his home -- and he doesn't want to install a tracking device on his home.

The FMCSA says ELDs will make our roads safer

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration supports the mandate, saying that it's intended to help drivers keep track of data, log their miles and manage their success while adhering to safety regulations. This should translate into safer roads because it will ensure drivers don't operate their vehicles for too long without rest, don't speed and, in general, practice safe driving.

Ultimately, the little black boxes could help prevent drowsy drivers. They could also prevent drivers from speeding.

Were you hurt by a drowsy or unlawful driver?

If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident caused by a truck driver, you might want to investigate whether the truck driver was drowsy or speeding because this kind of evidence could support a claim for damages. In the future, ELDs could be a way for the victims of trucking accidents to gather evidence to hold negligent and wrongfully acting truck drivers accountable.

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