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ELDs now mandated on all commercial trucks

A new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandate now requires that all commercial trucks be equipped with electronic logging devices. ELDs are already in use among large truck carriers like FedEx and UPS; however, many trucking companies in New York and across the U.S. are protesting the change.

The reasons for the change are manifold. The FMCSA claims that ELDs will more accurately log truckers' hours and monitor truckers' activities. They will also facilitate the sharing of driver records as well as prevent cheating, which was a perennial issue with paper logs. ELDs connect with a truck's engine and can record the times that the engine is running, when the truck is in motion, and the number of miles it goes.

Most importantly, ELDs could help prevent hundreds of accidents every year by alerting trucking companies to employees who are overworking themselves. Opponents, however, believe that the FMCSA is not being motivated by safety concerns.

Some believe that ELDs are 24-hour surveillance systems that invade the privacy of truckers. Others add that the devices may force companies to pay their employees only for those times that their trucks are in motion. This means drivers may not be paid for those times when, for example, they're waiting for a shipment.

Still, the fact remains that truck accidents are commonly caused by fatigued driving. When others are injured in these accidents, both the trucker and trucking company may be held liable for damages. A victim could speak with a lawyer about filing an injury claim; that way, they can learn how strong their case is and how much they could be entitled to. A lawyer can hire investigators to lay out proof of the other driver's negligence before proceeding to the negotiation stage.

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