NEWS & REPORTS

Study finds ELDs have NOT lowered crash rates and increased unsafe driving

Aug 16, 2021 | Reports

A group of researchers from Northeastern University and the University of Arkansas issued a report this February “Did Electronic Logging Device Mandate Reduce Accidents?” which analyses the effects of the electronic logging device mandate, and they reached two main conclusions:

  • The use of ELDs has not reduced the rate of truck crashes
  • The frequency of speeding violations, particularly among the small carrier segment, has increased since the mandate took effect

The report mostly focuses on smaller carriers and owner-operators who were considered the most impacted by the mandate, since larger carriers were likely already using ELDs or AOBRDs.

Although there were fewer hours of service violations, crash numbers saw little impact by the enforcement of the ELD mandate.

The report studied drivers between January 1, 2017 and September 1, 2018, which included:

  • Nearly a year’s worth of data prior to the December 18, 2017, enforcement deadline of the ELD mandate, and
  • Roughly three-month light enforcement period ahead of the April 1, 2018, hard enforcement date

For the pre-enforcement period, researchers said there was an average of 1,717 truck crashes a week. That number spiked during the soft enforcement period (December 17, 2017, to April 1, 2018) to 1,912 crashes a week. After April 1, the number dropped to an average of 1,703 crashes per week.

  • Independent owner-operators averaged 154 crashes a week prior to the ELD mandate December 2017 deadline and 160 crashes after hard enforcement began in April 2018.
  • Drivers at carriers with between 101 and 1,000 truck averaged 374 crashes a week before the mandate and 361 crashes a week after hard enforcement began.
  • Carriers with 1,001 or more trucks saw their crash rates dip slightly, from 244 a week to 240 a week.

Based on this data, the researchers conclude that these numbers do not point to any obvious reduction in accidents due to the ELD mandate.

While accident rates appear unchanged, the report says, unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding appear to have increased over the same period of time. These unsafe driving behaviors were found to be in response to productivity losses caused by the mandate.

According to the report, unsafe driving violations:

  • By owner-operators increased by as much as 33.3%, and speeding increased by as much as 31%
  • Carriers with between 101 and 1,000 trucks saw only a 6% increase in the number of unsafe driving violations per week after hard enforcement of the mandate began
  • Carriers with more than 1,000 trucks saw a 12% increase in unsafe driving violations after ELD enforcement began

“We find that the ELD mandate unequivocally enhanced HOS compliance,” the researchers write. “However, the ELD mandate did not noticeably improve safety, and we are able to produce no statistically significant evidence that ELD adoption by the smaller firms corresponded to any reduction in accident rates.”

About the Author

NEWS & REPORTS

THE DISCOVERY FALLACY

Doug Marcello The LEAD: Ignoring your data, fearing discovery in litigation, can be fatal to your company. The data is there. Plaintiffs will get it. You must proactively cumulate and analyze it to promote safety and proactively prepare to defend any potential suit....

Roadcheck is May 16 – Download the Inspection Guide

What can you expect duging any roadside inspectin - but especially during the annual Roadcheck blitz?  The inspectin guidelines are published and consistently used throughout North America. Download the guide here.

Preparing your drivers for deposition

Doug Marcello Your driver is to be deposed. They are to be thrust into a foreign world for which they have neither any experience nor concept. And out the other side of the process comes their “sworn testimony”, written in cement, as to the accident, training,...

Driver Survey Results

by David Hollis For the typical trucker who is in the driver's seat of their truck for most of their waking hours while on the road, having that seat be as comfortable as possible is a big deal. That's just one of the things we found out in our recent survey of what...

All 3G ELDs Do Not Comply with FMCSA Regs by 12/31/2022

Verizon is the last network to shut down their 3G network, the sunset date is December 31, 2022.  The other major networks shut down their 3G earlier this year. If you have an ELD system that relies on 3G to operate, it will no longer be compliant.  The carrier has 8...

CATEGORIES