The truck driver logbook is one of the most critical documents necessary to a truck accident case. Why is that?
Truck drivers are required to follow the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when it comes to the number of consecutive hours they are allowed to drive without taking a break.
This book is an actual log of each time the driver took a break from driving. It is also a record of the hours driven by the driver. Our Miami truck accident attorney explains why the truck driver logbook is essential in accident cases.
The FMCSA sets forth restrictions for the number of hours truck drivers can drive without taking a break. The limits are that a driver:
- Can drive for 11 consecutive hours after having ten straight hours of non-driving time.
- Can drive for no more than 14 consecutive hours if they take a break of ten straight hours.
- Cannot drive if they just completed 60/70 hours in a 7 or 8 day period, unless they take 34 consecutive hours off.
Logs Ensure Rest
One of the most important reasons that a truck driver's logbook is used in an accident case is to look at the rest taken by the driver involved in the crash. Truck driver logbooks ensure that drivers:
- Are getting the required rest.
- Are not continuing to drive past the states' FMCSA regulations.
If the log does not show the necessary time off from driving for the driver who was involved in an accident, the truck accident case could wind up being an open and shut one.
Logs Show Violations
If you have been involved in a truck accident, the first thing your personal injury lawyer will want to look at is the truck driver's logbook. Why?
- The attorney will know what to look for when it comes to finding logbook violations.
- Some truck drivers will alter their logbook to make it appear as if they took the required rest period after driving for 11 or 14 consecutive hours.
The Electronic On-Board Recorder
There is a device that more and more trucking companies are installing in their trucks, and it is known as the Electronic On-Board Recorder (EOBR). This is an electronic device that monitors the driver's:
- Driving habits
- Operational times
It is challenging to manipulate EOBR logs because it is recorded electronically and not written down in a paper logbook. The device and the written logbook serve as solid pieces of evidence when commercial trucks are involved in accidents.
These recording devices became more known as ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) since December 2017. After the FMCSA implemented the ELD mandate, non-exempt commercial drivers were obliged to follow the requirements and install certified devices in their vehicles. Failure to comply means substantial fines and being temporarily put out of service.
We hope this post has helped you understand more about truck accidents and why the driver logbook is essential in a truck accident. Knowing this will allow you to get fair compensation for your injuries suffered in a truck accident.
How Do You Contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary?
Were you injured in a truck accident? Contact our Miami truck accident attorney to:
- Find out if you have a case against the driver and the trucking company.
- Discuss the crash and your injuries.
Give us a call for free, friendly legal advice. We take cases on a contingency fee, and you pay no attorney fees upfront. We get paid at the successful resolution of your truck accident case. These fees range from 34%-40% and are paid from the total amount. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.