The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers. These regulations limit how many consecutive hours truck drivers can work, and how much time they must be off-duty between shifts. The purpose of these hours is to prevent fatigued truck driving and reduce the risk of accidents. So how do truck drivers log time? Keep reading to find out.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, consult the experienced Las Vegas truck accident lawyers at Paul Padda Law. We can perform a thorough investigation of your case and may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Contact us at (702) 366-1888 today to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.
Logging Time in Paper Logbooks
When truck drivers use paper logbooks to log their time, they are on the honor system. It is their responsibility to record their working and off-duty time accurately. Unfortunately, paper logbooks aren’t always accurate, as it’s all too easy for driver error to occur.
Drivers who are busy may fail to log their information into these books or forget exactly how many hours they worked, leading to inaccuracies. There are also unethical drivers who may falsify logbooks and state that they worked more than they did in order to increase their paychecks.
Since logbooks can be inspected by the government at any time, drivers who have violated hours of service regulations may face hefty fines and driving restrictions. Identical drives and excessive miles driven for the time traveled are two red flags that inspectors often see when evaluating logbooks.
Electronic Logging Devices
As of December 2019, truck drivers will no longer be permitted to use paper logs. All commercial trucks will need to be furnished with electronic logging devices (ELDs) that must be registered with the FMCSA. ELDs can use a GPS to collect information such as miles and times driven. In addition, they can spot and report truck damage and issues with maintenance.
The hope of the FMCSA is that more accurate trucking time through ELDs will lead to greater accuracy and safety. Some trucking companies and truckers feel that the use of ELDs violates the privacy and rights of drivers. Others believe that these devices will be an effective way to increase safety for truckers and other motorists.
It is important to note that there are some situations where the ELD regulations do not need to be followed. Drivers who use paper logs for no more than eight days within a 30-day cycle, drivers whose vehicles are older than the 2000 model year, and tow-truck drivers are not required to abide by these regulations.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While fatigued driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, these types of crashes often arise for other reasons, including:
- Poor truck maintenance – Trucking companies are required to properly maintain their vehicles and document regular maintenance checks. If they fail to do so, faulty equipment may cause an accident.
- Distracted driving – Truckers may eat, text, fumble with their radio controls, and engage in other distracted driving behaviors that divert their attention from the road, potentially leading to a crash.
- Improper training – Driving a truck is different than driving a regular car. Untrained truck drivers or those who are improperly trained may cause an accident.
Contact a Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident or lost a loved one as a result, consult Paul Padda Law right away. We can find out whether ELD regulations have been violated and help you determine liability. You can count on our skilled truck accident lawyers to ensure your rights are protected. Call us at (702) 366-1888 today, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free case consultation.