The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in Texas in 2015 there were 9,607 collisions due to fatigued drivers. Many of these drivers were the operators of commercial motor vehicles. Electronic on-board recorders helped stop some fatigued drivers before catastrophic truck accidents could occur. An electronic on-board recorder is a small device attached to a commercial motor vehicle that records the amount of a time and speed that a vehicle was driven in addition to other various measurements. This article will explain that electronic on-board records currently play in monitoring risks that often lead to commercial motor vehicle accidents.

Regulations Regarding Electronic On-Board Recorders

Electronic on-board recorders are still relatively new to the commercial trucking industry and were first introduced to commercial motor vehicles in the United States in the early 1990’s. Due to the newness of electronic on-board recorders, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in the process of implementing several new regulations regarding electronic on-board recorders.

  • In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed new regulations concerning automatic onboard recording devices to provide commercial truck drivers with the opportunity to revise any incorrect information that might end up on the recorder. This revision, however, comes with the stipulation that the recorders must keep the original entry times and reflect the name of the person who made the edits to the recorder. Additionally, with the exception of a handful of special circumstances, driving times cannot be edited.
  • Enforcement Purpose. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies currently use electronic on-board records to ensure that drivers meet various regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Electronic on-board recorders are often used to ensure that drivers do not exceed an established number of hours driving within a specific timeframe without resting for the required time.
  • Universal Recorders. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has unsuccessfully attempted to pass regulations making electronic on-board recorders mandatory for all commercial motor vehicles. This proposal, however, was later denied by lawmakers because commercial truckers expressed concerns that violations of privacy would occur if on-board recorders were installed in all commercial motor vehicles. Electronic on-board recorders, however, increase driver safety by providing authoritative documentation about a commercial truck driver’s driving patterns.

When commercial motor vehicles are equipped with electronic on-board recorders, evidence from the recorder can be use to demonstrate that the commercial truck driver committed certain driving violations.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, contact our law firm.  Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.