The Danger of Trucks Is in the Paper
Truck drivers are required to maintain logs documenting daily activity related to the operating of a commercial motor vehicle, and to furnish these logs to a law enforcement officer upon request. This requirement helps to ensure compliance with the many regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governing restrictions of time behind the wheel imposed on drivers. These time restrictions exist to prevent fatigue and associated accidents arising out of excessive driving time.
The working shift of commercial drivers is limited to 14 hours. Once work is begun, all work must cease by the 14-hour mark, and no work can be conducted by the driver, even if for a different employer. For example, a driver is not allowed to work a 14-hour shift driving a truck, then go to work as a cashier at a hardware store.
Within those 14 hours, a transportation worker may drive no more than a total of 11 cumulative hours. Also, once driving begins, the driver must take at least a 30 minute break from behind the wheel, after no more than eight hours from the time driving is begun.
Within an eight-day period, a driver may work no more than 70 hours. Within a seven-day period, a drive may work no more than 60 hours. Logs for the previous seven days must be kept on hand and in the possession of all commercial drivers.
Types of Logs
Some motor carriers use electronic instruments to satisfy the logging requirement. These logs are kept automatically by electronic readings of the truck’s activities in conjunction with GPS locational data. They either print out, email, or fax paper versions of daily activity when necessary. Electronic logs are devoid of direct human creation, and are therefore incapable of being falsified. Paper logs, on the other hand, are written instruments that can be manipulated by drivers.
One common technique of manipulation is for a driver to maintain two logs, one of which is falsified and shows a more recent start to the day’s work. This false log can be offered to law enforcement officers if the request arises past a certain time during the course of the driver’s work day. If never challenged, a driver may, at the end of his work day, simply show whatever start and end times he wishes, in perceived compliance with FMCSA regulations.
In cases involving death, injury, or high dollar amounts of property damage, the cell phone of a driver will be tracked to verify the logs kept.
Get Legal Representation to Demand Compensation
Motor carriers are liable for the activities of the drivers they employ. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or property damage caused by a suspected fatigued commercial driver, get legal assistance to ensure just compensation. Contact or call the Law Office of Stanley E. Robison Jr. now at (812) 945-3055 for a confidential consultation.