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FMCSA releases final report on electronic hours-of-service recorders

Written by Steve Gursten Posted June 17th, 2014

Study shows semi-truck equipped with HOS recorders are significantly safer

electronic hours of service recorders

The FMCSA has finally released a final report regarding electronic-hours-of-service recorders (EHSRs).  The report confirms something that every attorney who works with the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable already knows: Trucks equipped with EHSRs  have lower crash rates and hours of service (HOS) violations than the big-rig trucks that don’t use them.

The purpose of the study was to assess the benefits of installed EHSRS. There’s been a lot of push back from the trucking lobby to keep these devices off of trucks. As you may well be aware, the FMCSA changed the HOS regulations in 2013. This change has also been highly controversial, and has even been challenged in the courts.

From my own personal experience as an injury attorney who focuses on truck accidents, truck driver fatigue and hours of service violations  are one of the most common causes of serious and preventable truck accidents.

The report’s conclusions were alarming yet reaffirming:  It found that EHSR-equipped semi-trucks had a 53% fewer driving related HOS violations and a 49% lower non-driving-related HOS violation rate than trucks not equipped with EHSRs.

To directly quote the report, “[t]he results show a clear safety benefit, in terms of crash and HOS violation reductions, for trucks equipped with EHSRs.”

You can find the full report here “Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Hours of Service Recorders.”

As an attorney and safety advocate, I’m thrilled this report has been published. These results indicate that there are huge safety and compliance benefits of EHSRs. My only hope is that the FMCSA mandates the use of these devices.  It will save a lot of lives, and prevent a lot of accidents.

Steve Gursten

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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