FMCSA: Test Shows Significant Safety Benefit from Electronic Logs

May 09, 2014

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Trucks equipped with electronic driver logs have significantly lower crash rates than those without, according to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration test.

The test found that the ELD-equipped trucks had an 11.7% lower crash rate and a 5.1% lower preventable crash rate, the agency said.

They also had a 53% lower rate for hours-of-service driving violations, and a 49% lower rate for non-driving violations.

“The results show a clear safety benefit, in terms of crash and HOS violation reductions, for trucks equipped with Electronic Hours-of-Service Recorders,” the agency said.

The study looked at Class 7 and 8 trucks from 11 carriers and is skewed toward larger, for-hire fleets and may not represent the entire industry, the agency said.

The study will be posted Monday on the docket where all of the agency’s electronic logging material is kept, including the proposed rule that will mandate near-universal use of electronic logs.

The docket remains open for comments until May 27, although that deadline may be extended. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, representing state police and other enforcement interests, has asked the agency for a one-month extension.

“This is a complex and significant rulemaking,” said CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler.

He said CVSA needs more time to understand the technology options in the proposal, and states need more time to evaluate its impact in the field.

In a related development, the agency said it needs to clarify the rules for Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, the older automated logging systems that some fleets have used for decades.

The agency said that some inspectors have been asking drivers to give them printouts from these devices, and in some instances have issued citations because the devices did not display certain information.

But the rules have never required these devices to print out logs, although drivers can volunteer a printout if the device has that capability. Inspectors can request the driver to send additional information via email or fax within 48 hours.


  1. 1. Earl T Harris Jr [ May 12, 2014 @ 06:15AM ]

    Of course the study would show just what FMSCA wanted to show. But it did say the study was only among the major fleets. What they haven't done is compare the crash data between the mega fleets and single truck owner-operators without ELDs. I don't expect them to do that since it would most likely show that owner-operators are safer without ELDS than the major fleets with them.

  2. 2. Gary Hull [ May 12, 2014 @ 07:54AM ]

    Yes, the study did show an improvement. However, the agency admitted that the study data was not sufficient to get a true reading of the benefits of ELDs

  3. 3. Steve [ May 12, 2014 @ 07:54AM ]

    Good comment Earl you took the words right out of my keyboard. save me a bunch of typing.

  4. 4. haller [ May 12, 2014 @ 10:02AM ]

    11.7% lower CRASH rate, I assume the FMCSA means accident rate, 5.1% lower preventable accident rate, this is simply not true, 53% lower hours of service driving violations, so the DOT just lost how many million $ in fines, and 49% reduction in non driving violations, non driving violations have nothing to do with ELD's & safety. So lets ad this up shall we, 11.7%+5.1%+53%+49%=118.8% . Hell the FMCSA is doing a great job. Congratulations gentlemen, sounds like you fixed quite a few safety issues with the ELD, now lets move on to those cameras aimed on the drivers., That camera will save at least another 18% to 22%. in CRASHES, feathers in your cap... Now how about those cars CRASHING into trucks. Here's my idea. Hang old truck tires on semi trucks only, by ropes all around the bottom of the truck-trailer so when the car SMASHES into the semi truck it will bounce off. Now, if the stupid truck driver probably from Russia, Poland or India gets two or more SMASHES is one year he is fined $2000 and the company he drives for gets fined $10,000. Congratulations again, 100% no CRASHES.

  5. 5. Lee Lenard [ May 12, 2014 @ 09:51PM ]

    Earl, Gary, Steve, Haller...excellent perception! All of you are correct. Yes the FMCSA is going to force in ELD's because the OBC manufacturers have already said this represents Million s and Millions of $ to them to supply these to all the fleets in the U.S plus small fleets or independent drivers will have to contract with some computer service to upload and store this data---money, money, money! has nothing to do with public safety or safety of the driver. I drive in both systems and I am a much safer driver in the old log book system than when in the ELD. The electronic-on-board-computer because of no flexibility forces me to speed, park for breaks beside busy highways, pull out in traffic when I should not, run red lights, skip much need restroom stops along with no time to stop and eat a proper meal....the ELD system does not allow me to properly manage my runs and time. I do know many of the newer drivers entering the truck driver profession do not have the math abilities to run a manual log book and only way they can function is with on board computer system and in doing so they accept a lower wage and very entry level income. FMCSA rules should be about " Public Safety" and "driver health and Safety" not about corporate income!

  6. 6. Mike [ May 13, 2014 @ 07:34AM ]

    I agree with all of you. It's not about safety, it's about money. Since I went on my own, I don 't have any violations because I don 't have a STUPID dispatcher pushing me that has no clue of what goes on behind the wheel. I use an electronic ap to due my logs, but that is as far as I will go. I can't afford all this legalistic BS.

  7. 7. peter [ June 01, 2014 @ 12:35PM ]

    All this electronic log books BS I was the driver in Europe all these electronic Logboox are there for the long time everybody have a way to cheet with those just like paper one whoever once to cheat they will .it's just a waste of money those devices they always have problems and they will .people will change papers on diagram they will show the other way just like the weapons did bring good f the bad people put hands on guns they bring harm and also it will be just like a poison did have anti poison it will be fixed the way driver whant and don't think f the big companies have drivers only whit the high school diploma they don't know how to figure out we have engineers electronics professors doctors from different countries the driving truck in US soon as they can have that electronic logbook that Alec troniq logbook will work for them how they want it it's a fact I already saw whit this big companies that are claiming benefits they don't know the their log book works for the driver the way he wants to drive

  8. 8. Francisco [ July 27, 2014 @ 08:33AM ]

    In this last winter I saw in one day 7 rollover. 5 of those accidents were drivers with electronic log book. They are tiered, driving in bad conditions, pushed by the elb. I have working in the 2 systems and now my health is too much better, now I have time to go to gym, now I dont use medication and can sleep better. I m agree that those rules is not for safety reasons, is obvious $$$$$$


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