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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 in order to properly determine liability. One piece of evidence that needs to be gathered is the truck driver’s logbook.
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:
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.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, you need to speak to a skilled truck accident lawyer 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 of determining whether or not a driver was operating while fatigued.