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New rule will change how truck drivers record rest breaks

For a variety of reasons, truck drivers are required to record many of their daily activities in logbooks. We noted some of the most important items contained in these trucking logs in a previous post on this blog.

These items include the time that the driver spends on duty as well as off duty and resting. This is a key item because federal laws dictate that truck drivers cannot exceed certain lengths of time driving and are required to take time to sleep and rest.

According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, since the 1930s, truck drivers have been filling out paper logbooks in pencil. As you may imagine, these records are not only difficult to verify, they can also be easily altered.

But in recent years, a new option was developed: electronic logging devices. ELDs can automatically record a truck's travel time, location information and other important data.

Some trucking agencies have already employed the devices. But more significantly, the use of these devices will become a requirement for most commercial vehicles by December 2017. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that the measure will help prevent 26 fatalities and 562 injuries annually.

This step is good news for all of us who share the roads with big rig trucks. It will make it much more difficult for truck drivers to exceed their allotted time behind the wheel without rest. It will also provide more accurate logs if a truck is involved in an accident.

If you are injured in a truck accident, the information contained in the driver's log could potentially be used to help demonstrate liability. But getting access to those logs may prove difficult without the aid of an experienced attorney. This is why securing the services of an Illinois truck accident attorney may provide you with your best opportunity to establish liability, which can help you obtain an appropriate level of compensation.