What is a Truck Driver’s Logbook, And How it Can Help Your Case?

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What is a Truck Driver’s Logbook, And How it Can Help Your Case?

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Posted By DAM Firm | September 25 2021 | Truck Accidents

Accidents involving large commercial trucks often result in severe injuries and extensive property damage, particularly for those operating in traditional passenger vehicles involved in the crash. If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage as a result of an accident caused by a truck driver or trucking company, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. However, there are various types of evidence that need to be obtained to properly determine liability. One piece of evidence that needs to be gathered is the truck driver’s logbook. A skilled truck accident lawyer in Orange County can help gather evidence for your claim.

Truck Driver Hours of Service Requirements in CaliforniaTruck Driver Hours of Service Requirements in California

What we will find is that most commercial truck drivers in the state of California have to adhere to the hours of service requirements put forth by the US Department of Transportation. In particular, we see that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is directly responsible for ensuring that drivers follow the hours of service requirements put in place by regulators.

The whole goal of hours of service requirements is to ensure that truckers do not operate their vehicles while they are fatigued. Fatigued driving of these vehicles, which often weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, can lead to severe accidents on California roadways. Federal regulations limit how much a truck driver can operate during a workday and throughout the workweek. 

The most current hours of service regulations can be summarized as follows:

  • Drivers are allowed to operate during a 14-hour window each day. However, drivers must have been off duty for ten or more consecutive hours.
  • During each 14 hour window, drivers can operate for 11 total driving hours. The remaining three hours must consist of meal breaks, restroom breaks, or nap breaks.
  • Truck drivers who have been driving for eight consecutive hours are required to take a 30-minute break before they can continue with the rest of their driving time.
  • During a seven-day workweek, truck drivers can operate for 60 total hours.
  • During an eight-day workweek, drivers can operate for 70 total hours.

Does the Driver’s Logbook Store This Data?

The truck driver’s logbook is incredibly important. Since the beginning of federal tracking of commercial truck driver hours, drivers have been required to keep written log books they keep track of their total on-duty hours. Traditionally, these were paper logbooks, and drivers were trusted to maintain accurate hours of service.

However, as of December 18, 2017, all commercial trucks are required to have electronic logging devices (ELDs) inside each vehicle that automatically track the hours of service. The ELD connects directly to a truck’s engine and keeps track of how long a vehicle has been in motion. Drivers can still use paper logbooks for up to eight days if their electronic logging device stops working.

Working With an Attorney

If you or a loved one is planning to file a personal injury claim due to an accident caused by a truck driver, you need to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney in Orange County as soon as possible. If you believe that the accident was caused by truck driver fatigue, it is incredibly important to ensure that you obtain the truck driver’s electronic logging device. Proving hours of service violations will be a crucial element in determining whether or not a driver was operating while fatigued.

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