Trucks accidents became more frequent after Electronic Logging Device Mandate

December 22, 20210

Researchers at the University of Arkansas discovered that accidents involving trucks have run up since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Mandate for Electronic Logging Devices came into effect.

On December 16, the University of Arkansas Supply Chain Management Research Center released the report “Quantity of Truck Accidents Following Electronic Recorder Permit, Study Results.”

“Surprisingly, the number of accidents for the most affected carriers – those operators for whom the federal mandate was prepared –  didn’t decrease,” said Andrew Balthrop, a researcher at Sam M. Walton College of Business. “In fact, since the mandate has been fulfilled, the number of accidents among small carriers and independent owner-operators increased compared to large carriers, based on assets.”

Researchers expressly examined how ELD generally influenced three specific safety-related outcomes:

1. Abidance to reported working hours

2. Number of accident

3. Frequency of unsafe driving

The researchers found that the ELD mandate did indeed increase drivers’ compliance with established hours of operation, especially among owner-operators and small carriers who hadn’t yet used ELDs. Many major carriers used ELDs before getting mandates and this didn’t significantly impact compliance rates.

“For most carriers – meaning all categories except carriers with more than 50000 trucks – the number of accidents actually increased after the entry into force of the federal mandate. Again, this is especially true for independent owner-operators. The number of accidents among them increased by 11,6%, and for carriers with 2-20 trucks – by 9%,” the researchers note in a press release.

A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in late October 2021 said that from January to June 2021, the death rate from road traffic accidents reached “the biggest six-month increase ever recorded in the history of the Mortality Reporting System”; it didn’t differentiate commercial vehicle deaths and passenger car deaths, but found out that the US lost 40000 people in road traffic accidents in 2021.


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