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Serving Accident & Injury Victims for Over 20 Years

"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes​

What Is an Electronic On-Board Recorder?

A Truck’s “Black Box” & What It Does

Many people have heard of “black boxes” in airplanes, but most don’t realize that large commercial trucks also contain similar devices. Formally known as “electronic on-board recorders,” or EOBRs, these cab-mounted devices gather various information about the truck’s movements, similar to a flight data recorder (FDR), which records an airplane’s airspeed, altitude, and heading.

In a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or other type of large commercial vehicle, EOBRs digitally record information about when the vehicle is moving, when it is stopped, and for how long it has traveled, as well as the vehicle’s speed and its various engine components. In the event of a truck accident, this information can serve as invaluable evidence in establishing what happened and how the driver did or did not react.

If you or someone you love was involved in a large truck accident, contact The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. today to speak to one of our attorneys for free: (855) 933-3881.

What Is the Purpose of an Electric On-Board Recorder?

Before the mid-2000s, when electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs) became an industry standard, trucking companies relied on their drivers to keep manual, written logs of their driving time. This was done to ensure that truck drivers followed the safety standards set forth by federal and state hours-of-service regulations, which limit the amount of time commercial drivers may operate their vehicles and create guidelines around how often they must take breaks.

However, these written logs were subject to human error and inaccuracies. In many cases, truck drivers simply forgot to log all of their drive-time hours; in others, they were pressured by their employers’ strict schedules and delivery quotas to intentionally record those hours incorrectly.

EOBRs all but eliminated this problem. Because they digitally record information about a truck’s movements, they are far more reliable and accurate than manual hours-of-service logs.

Over time, early versions of these devices have been improved upon. Today, electronic on-board recorders have been largely replaced with “electronic logging devices,” or ELDs. As of 2015, it became mandatory for commercial vehicle drivers to log their hours-of-service with ELDs, effectively replacing EOBRs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required all fleets that were using paper logs to replace those logs with ELDs by the end of 2017; fleets that were using digital logs had until the end of 2019 to upgrade to ELD technology.

What Does an Electronic On-Board Recorder Track?

Electronic on-board recorders—now replaced with electronic logging devices, or ELDs—automatically record various information about the vehicle in which they are installed at regular intervals.

This information includes:

  • The date
  • The time
  • The location
  • Engine hours
  • Vehicle miles
  • Driver information

In most cases, this information is recorded when the vehicle is started, turned off, and every 60 minutes when the vehicle is moving. ELDs also record this information when the driver changes their status (e.g., from “on duty” to “off duty”) or indicates yard movements/personal use of the vehicle.

How an ELD’s Information Can Be Used in a Truck Accident Claim

During a truck accident investigation, your attorney will likely examine the truck’s electronic logging device (ELD) for information regarding how long the driver had been driving, how many miles the vehicle had traveled, whether the driver was on or off duty when the crash occurred, and more. This can all provide critical evidence to help build a clear picture of what really happened.

Often, the information gathered by an ELD is used in conjunction with other important evidence—such as the involved individuals’ accounts, eyewitness statements, expert testimony, photographs or videos of the accident scene, police accident reports, and medical reports—to build a case. At The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we work with accident reconstructionists, economists, medical professionals, and other experts in the field, as well as cutting-edge legal technology, to reconstruct what happened and how the accident occurred. Our attorneys are tireless advocates for our clients and have a long history of success in even the toughest of personal injury cases.

For a free consultation, call (855) 933-3881 or contact us online. You do not pay any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.

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  • No Fees Unless We Win

    We work on a contingent basis, which means you do not pay a dime unless we make a recovery.

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    Our team includes over 20 attorneys with over 200 years of combined experience, numerous investigators and medical staff, and more than 100 professional support staff.

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Take the First Step in Your Recovery

Call The Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A. at 855-WE-FIGHT or fill out and submit our online contact form to request a free initial consultation today. We look forward to hearing your story and sharing how we can help you get back on your feet.

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