Federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to keep an accurate record of their travels. Regulators and law enforcement officers use the entries in driver’s logs as evidence of the driver’s strict adherence to the Hours-of-Service regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s. Hours-of-service regulations are in place to ensure that commercial truck drivers are alert and awake while driving their 80,000-pound vehicle, which increases everyone’s safety on the road.
Federal regulations require each driver to enter certain information in the logbook during every trip. The log—which is now electronic—contains four categories of information drivers must input to comply with the federal regulations. A commercial truck driver must note in the logbook:
- Time spent off duty;
- Time spent in the sleeper berth;
- Time driving; and
- Time on duty but not driving.
Time on duty but not driving includes the time spent working, such as loading and unloading cargo and performing safety inspections. Federal regulators recognize that the time spent working but not driving could be physically and mentally draining, adding to the driver’s fatigue.
Under the latest federal regulations, a truck driver may only drive for eleven hours during one day after taking the previous ten hours off duty. Additionally, drivers can only work fourteen hours per day between driving time and time on duty after ten hours off. Also, each driver must take a 30-minute break for every eight hours worked.
Some commercial truck drivers falsify entries in their logbooks even though the hours-of-service regulations are strictly enforced.
Sometimes drivers and trucking companies falsify drivers’ logs to increase profitability. Drivers make money based on miles traveled and not necessarily on overall time spent on duty. The more miles traveled, the more the driver makes. Trucking companies earn more revenue if they deliver on time or even ahead of schedule. Faster deliveries mean less turn-around time and more loads hauled.
Our 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys represent those injured or families who lost family members in truck accidents caused by negligence. We invite you to speak with us about your case and an initial consultation, so contact us at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529), or fill out our case inquiry form, or visit us in person.
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