Large commercial trucks are capable of causing tremendous damage in auto accidents. This is the main reason why the U.S. government strictly regulates both drivers and companies when it comes to trucks running on our roads. One specific aspect, which applies here, is logbooks.
Every trucking company is expected to maintain meticulous records of the lengths of time that truckers drive their assigned vehicles. These records should also hold information on where each shipment goes, as well as the number of miles each driver travels in a day.
If a truck accident happens, these logbooks are among the first places where the plaintiff’s hired vehicle accident lawyer would look. If the claimant wishes compensation for injuries or damages sustained, these records could provide incriminating information. Other than that, the Department of Transportation as well is known to perform audits to make sure that trucking companies are operating above the board.
The Information a Logbook Must Contain
For any truck driver, it is mandatory to track their status every 24 hours, through the use of either an official form, or a recording device fitted onboard. Information that should be input includes the location (village, town, city, or truck stop) when they report for work, start driving, go on duty, and end the workday. These regulations are in place to ensure that no driver works an excessive duration without intermittent rest, as that would not only endanger their own health, but also raise chances of accidents.
Many companies and truckers do break these rules by falsifying logbook data, in order for the latter to be able to drive more continuous hours than federal law allows. Fatigued driving has been sown to be about as dangerous as driving under the influence of an intoxicant. For one, it brings the possibility of the driver falling asleep mid-drive. That, coupled with the larger size of such vehicles, could easily spell disaster.
Common Logbook Errors
The most typical logbook errors include failure to list the precise times when the truck driver took to the road, completed work, or took breaks. There is also the matter of overloading or uneven loading of trailers, capable of causing truck drivers to lose control of their vehicle. Sometimes, companies and drivers fail to record information on work and checks done on the ring before it got taken out, and that could make the former liable for accident-related injuries.