Time is money, but too much time, especially behind the wheel, leads to fatigue and accidents. The good news is that electronic logging devices (ELDs) lead to drivers who get more rest which leads to fewer accidents.
The hard data isn’t available yet on the effectiveness of ELDs, but many in the industry already see a difference with their drivers and fleets. Because there’s no fudging of the numbers with an ELD the way some used to do with paper logs, drivers are stopping for the day sooner and getting more and much needed downtime and rest.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data only runs through 2017, when the start of ELD use was in its infancy. Even then, the board acknowledged that the right technology and tools could eliminate human error caused by fatigue and distraction. It will be interesting to learn if the report next year will provide data to support what fleet managers and drivers are experiencing — less fatigue and safer experiences out on the road.
Room for Improvement
As with all things, there is room for improvement in helping drivers get the rest they need. Future updates to the ELD mandate may look at offering flexibility to drivers to get the rest they need when they need it most, instead of basing rest decisions only on the hours driven or rested in a day.
A potential revision of the split sleeper berth rule will go a long way to increase driver flexibility to get the rest they need when they need it most. Currently the split sleeper berth rule allows drivers to split their rest into eight consecutive hours of rest and then take two-plus hours (but less than 10 hours) of further rest.
Rest and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand
Driving while fatigued isn’t that much different than driving while under the influence. Reaction times decrease. Judgement and the ability to think on your feet slows down. Not to mention the very real possibility of falling asleep behind the wheel. All of these things spell disaster when you’re behind the wheel of a large vehicle, especially with a load in your trailer. Getting enough rest on a haul keeps you and everyone else on the road safer.
To keep yourself or your drivers safer out on the road, you need an ELD that accurately calculates hours of service and that’s easy for your drivers to use. Gorilla Safety provides flexible service to fit your fleet now and in the future. The ELD keeps you in compliance, but it’s also affordable, easy, and accurate — three things you want in your ELD. Ready to make the switch? Sign up, today!