On Tuesday, the American Transportation Research Institute, the research arm of the American Trucking Association, released the results of its industry analysis of the use of recorders to monitor driver hours. The study showed that few fleets use electronic onboard recorders, but those that report increased driver morale. This research contradicts the hypothesis that even a truck accident lawyer had: that “big brother” tracking devices would hurt driver morale and retention. Seventy-six percent of users said the recorders had improved driver morale and 19 percent said they had improved driver retention.
Obviously, there are concerns about data privacy and data access issues. But there are too many deaths in Maryland because of tired drivers logging more hours than federal law allows.
It is difficult for profit-maximizing companies and businesses that specialize in local pickup and delivery service not to act aggressively because they believe their competitors are. A universal requirement that these companies use recorders that monitor driver hours might level the playing field, keeping tired commercial truck drivers off the road. The downside risk to these recorders would be drivers driving faster to make up for the lost hours.