BrightFleet is dedicated to making the roads safer.
That commitment led to the creation of the defensive fleet driver risk-mitigation training, which is a program that teaches people the importance of driving safely. As we reported on BrightFleet, driving behavior contributes to over 90% of vehicle collisions and wasting up to 33% of fuel consumption.
Thankfully, it isn’t just private institutions that are making the roads safer, as the U.S. government is making big steps to lessen road accidents and fatalities. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the government body that is responsible for reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses, will be implementing the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Final Rule in December 2017.
Why is there a need for an ELD?
Fleetmatics cites several reasons why there is a need for an ELD. First, the ELD Final Rule aims to streamline the operations of fleet companies in the U.S. By using an ELD, fleet operations will be centralized, and fleet managers will be able to monitor their drivers’ activities in real-time. In addition, an ELD will help in preventing violations on the road as the device will send proactive alerts to drivers in advance of when they commit a violation.
By using technology tied to the following regulations, fleet drivers can reduce two of the top five fineable areas, which are not having logs or out-of-date logs, and errors in logging the Hours of Service (HoS).
The ELD Final Rule will also improve safety on the road by making drivers operate only within their HoS. By mandating all drivers to work only within their allotted operational hours, accidents due to driving exhaustion can be prevented.
ELD to prevent road accidents involving trucks
Trucks are responsible for over 4,500 fatalities in the U.S. alone. According to the FMCSA, the main reason behind commercial truck crashes is fatigued and overworked drivers. The Truck Crash Causation Study spearheaded by the FMCSA documented that over 12,000 commercial truck crashes happened in a span of 3 years.
“An action or inaction by the drivers of the truck or the other vehicles involved were important reasons leading to crashes in a large majority of the cases”, the Truck Crash Causation Study documents.
In another study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2009 to 2013, there were over 72,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers.
Falling asleep due to fatigue isn’t necessarily the driver’s fault alone. Unrealistic work schedules and expectations from trucking companies often lead to major road accidents. With the ELD Final Rule, fleet companies won’t be able to force their drivers to work overtime, and as the journeys are digitally recorded it won’t be possible to enter false logs. Although the exact causes of road accidents can vary, the most common reason is still the driver’s physical condition.
The cost of using an ELD
The cost and pricing of using an ELD varies by provider. The fees depend on the components included in a subscription, and which components that you own. For example, some ELD providers may give you engine connectivity hardware, a subscription to their proprietary software, and flexibility to buy the right devices for your drivers.
Despite the FMCSA’s previous efforts in implementing rules to avoid incidents and improve driver safety there has been a 20% increase in the number of truck accidents over the past decade. With the ELD Final Rule, hopefully, the roads can finally become safer in the U.S.