Hours Of Service is a federal law established to ensure a trucking company does not make their employees or truck drivers overwork. Overworking means driving for long hours without a break. To prevent this, the law requires truck drivers to maintain a log book to record the time they were on the road and the number of miles they covered.
Therefore, a trucker’s logbook can be important evidence in a personal injury case. If the log book shows that there has been a violation of federal laws, it could indicate that the driver was fatigued while driving, which contributed to the accident. If you have been injured by a truck driver, speak to an attorney from Zehl & Associates today.
How can a log book help after a truck accident?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established certain rules and regulations to increase road safety. For this purpose, all drivers are required to keep a logbook which should contain the following information:
- Number of driving hours.
The trucker is required to list the number of hours he drives without a break. Under federal law, they are only allowed a specific number of hours in 14 hours and a seven-day period.
- Miles covered.
The logbook should contain information about the number of hours a trucker travels within 24 hours. This information shows whether they took sufficient breaks while on duty.
- Sleeping logs.
The trucker must record the number of hours they were off duty and had no responsibilities related to their job. This log proves that they were able to get a sufficient amount of rest.
During the course of a personal injury case investigation, a trucker’s log book can help determine whether they were in compliance with federal laws. One of the most important rules to follow is the maximum number of driving hours allotted to each truck driver. If they exceed the maximum limit and drive long hours without a break, they are subject to fatigue and sleepiness on the road. This makes the road an unsafe place to be.
What happens when the logbook is incomplete or forged?
It is easy to tamper with a log book and forge information. An attorney can help you determine whether the information in a trucker’s logbook is true. If it is found to be false, this could help you establish liability in a lawsuit. Drivers who forge information in their logbooks are also subject to substantial fines and legal penalties.