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Will This New ELD Mandate Prevent Truck Accidents?

Some Nashville truckers are speaking out against a new mandate that could mean safer roads for other drivers – but why?

The mandate in question is allegedly intended to reduce the rate of drowsy driving among truck drivers, thus reducing truck crashes. Driver fatigue is a major problem in the industry, in part due to companies that incentivize drivers to drive longer, drive faster and haul more. While regulations do exist preventing drivers from driving too long or too fast, there are also ways around those regulations. Falsifying driver logs is one of those.

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are already in use by some companies to keep accurate tabs on truck drivers and ensure they do not violate federal regulations on their routes. But some drivers think that ELDs have the opposite of the intended effect. One truck driver, who regularly deals with ELDs, said that the complexity of the device makes it difficult to fiddle with while driving. The amount of concentration ELDs require, she says, takes the driver’s mind off of driving, turning a drowsy driving problem into a distracted driving problem.

Another driver said that putting information about hours-of-service in front of a driver, like ELDs do, could push drivers to run faster, increasing the potential for accidents.

Other truckers cite constitutional concerns with the devices, believing the mandate, which goes into effect this month, is unlawful. Several protests have already occurred across the country as people fight against the mandate.

Nashville truckers, weigh in – what are your concerns with the ELD mandate?

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