Log Book Violations Are Dangerous
For reasons of public safety, drivers of 18-wheelers, also referred to as semi-trucks, big rigs, and tractor trailers, must comply with Federal Hours of Service (HOS) laws, which enforce the following restrictions:
- Maximum of 11 hours driving after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Maximum of 14 hours driving and working after starting this shift
- Maximum of 60 hours in a 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days
Truck drivers who do not abide by these rules put not only themselves but others at risk because they are more likely to be fatigued, less alert, and less responsive in emergency situations. Unfortunately, the pay-per-mile model that is used by much of the trucking industry gives drivers an incentive to violate HOS regulations, and many trucking companies turn a blind eye to this misconduct or even encourage it because faster deliveries equate to higher profits.
What Are the Log Book Rules?
To deter HOS violations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires commercial truck drivers to keep a detailed log book and to record their duty status every 24 hours, including total miles driven, total hours worked, and inspections of the operating conditions of their vehicles and equipment. The effectiveness of these oversight measures is doubtful: surveys indicate that between 25 and 75 percent of drivers illegally falsify their log books in order to hide HOS violations. Unsurprisingly, many accidents involving commercial trucks can be attributed to this bad behavior.
How to Prove HOS and Log Book Violations
HOS or log book violations can form the grounds for a lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company for gross negligence and willful misconduct, especially in the case of an accident involving fatigue. An experienced truck accident attorney can prove log book violations through the following evidence:
- GPS records
- Black box data
- Phone records
- Gas receipts
- Bills of lading
- Witness accounts
- Traffic camera footage
Excellent Legal Representation for Injury Victims
If you have any questions about truck accidents in California that may involve potential HOS or log book violations, contact Wilshire Law Firm today for a FREE consultation. It is essential that you reach out to us without delay – evidence tends to fade with time plus there’s the statute of limitations to consider. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (800) 522-7274.