Truck drivers work for extended periods of time, often spending many hours on the road and behind the wheel. As you might expect, these long hours can be exhausting, as truck drivers are often in heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions. Because of this, the United States Department of Transportation prohibits truck drivers from exceeding a certain number of hours behind the wheel per week. In order to keep these drivers accountable, the USDOT requires truck drivers to keep a travel log, taking note of all driving hours, duty hours, and time spent sleeping.
According to federal law, truck drivers must not exceed 60 hours of driving time within a period of a week and 70 hours within an eight-day period. Breaks of 34 hours are required between driving periods. The same law states that truck drivers may not be on duty for more than 14 hours and may not drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. In addition, truck drivers are required to take breaks of at least ten hours between on-duty shifts.
Electronic Logging Device
Rather than take note of their travel in a paper log, truck drivers are required to log all activity in an Electronic Logging Device, or ELD. These are small devices installed in all trucks that automatically monitor each vehicle’s activity and allow drivers to input their travel.
These devices are used to keep track of the following things:
- Hours spent driving
- Hours spent sleeping
- Total miles driven
- Changes of duty status
- Locations of changes
- Start and stop location
- Total hours worked
- Vehicle’s license number and registration
- Shipping/carrier information
- Driver’s signature and credentials
Non-Compliance and Fraud
Should a truck driver fail to properly maintain their travel log, they may be subject to federal penalties. Most instances of such fraudulence occur when a truck driver is involved in an accident and changes their Hours of Service (or HOS) information so that the travel log appears to be in their favor.
There are several common ways to tell if a travel log has been falsified. A few examples include, but are not limited to:
- Incongruent information from the carrier company
- All times recorded are the same
- All locations recorded are the same
- Miles traveled and time spent driving are incongruent
- Driving hours and hours on duty are the same
Should you be involved in an accident with a large truck, the driver’s travel log may prove to be an important part of gathering evidence. Truck drivers are prone to exhaustion and drowsiness after being behind the wheel for so many hours and often put other drivers on the road at risk. With access to the activity logged in the Electronic Logging Device, you may be able to prove negligence, which is an essential part of determining liability in any accident.
There are several parties that may be considered negligent in a truck accident case. A few examples of such parties include:
- The truck driver whose failure to observe traffic laws caused an accident
- The driver of a passenger vehicle whose failure to observe traffic laws caused an accident
- The trucking company whose insurance extends to its drivers
- The company whose failure to properly load cargo onto a large truck caused an accident
- The company whose failure to properly maintain equipment or fix malfunctioning parts on the large truck caused an accident
- The municipal body whose failure to fix damaged infrastructure caused an accident
With a truck accident attorney, you can access a truck driver’s travel log and use it to help determine levels of liability in an accident. This can have a significant impact on the type of compensation you can expect as you seek restitution in your large truck accident case.
Contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck accident, you’re familiar with how difficult such accidents can be. If someone else caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. Fortunately, the truck accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers are well-prepared to help you communicate with insurance companies, gather evidence, and build a compelling large truck accident case as you pursue the restitution to which you’re entitled.
Don’t allow financial concerns or a lack of legal knowledge keep you from hiring a lawyer to pursue compensation. Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today to set up a free, confidential case evaluation. Call us at (619) 233-5020, and we’ll connect you with one of our attorneys so that you can determine the best next steps in your pursuit of justice.