Hours of Service Logbook Requirements
Truck owners and drivers are required to comply with the FMCSA Hours of Service laws. The purpose of these laws is to prevent motor vehicle-related injuries by truck drivers who sometimes go beyond safe driving practices.
As part of this regulation, truck drivers are required to keep a logbook that not only includes a driver’s on duty and off duty driving time, but also inspections of the operating conditions of their vehicles and equipment, including, but not limited to:
- Steering mechanisms
- Windshield wipers
- Coupling devices
- Cargo doors
- Load securing equipment
Incentive to Falsify Logbooks
Truckers are often paid by the mile, not by the hour, so the more miles they drive, the more money they make. That also means that any work they do that isn’t driving, isn’t compensated for either.
Drivers can also be pressured by trucking companies to meet delivery deadlines, which might lead a driver to speed or exceed the Hours of Service rules.
Many trucking accidents occur when truck drivers don’t adhere to the Hours of Service rules or don’t conduct the proper inspections to keep the truck safe while on the road. Often, to hide these violations, truck drivers falsify log books, for instance, not accurately recording the amount of time spent doing non-driving duties.
Since the regulation relies on self-reporting by commercial truck drivers, many of whom still use paper logbooks, falsification of logbooks is relatively easy to do. In fact, logbooks are often referred to as “comic books” by some because of this.
Are Logbook Violations Involved in Your Trucking Accident?
The truck accident attorneys at Nash & Franciskato understand the Hours of Service rules and safety regulations established by the FMCSA, including which regulations apply to your situation.
Our attorneys often work with accident investigators to help determine negligence, including logbook violations. Sometimes logbook violations are easy to spot; other times it takes a more detailed examination. Either way, logbook violations may be used in your lawsuit to show negligence. Our investigation may include:
- Comparing driver logs to dispatch logs, trip receipts, and bills of lading
- Comparing the original and carbon copies of each logbook page
- Comparing the number of miles stated in the logbook to the amount paid for miles driven
- Examining fuel receipts, toll tickets and scale tickets
- $1.1 million total settlement for a driver struck from behind by a tractor-trailer whose driver had violated federal regulations for driving and logging hours.
Receive a Free Review from Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
The Nash & Franciskato team, a Kansas City based personal injury law firm, offers trustworthy representation when you have been injured in a trucking accident.
When you need to understand your legal options and the likelihood of obtaining compensation after an accident, contact our experienced trucking accident attorneys for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.