The trucking industry has been regulated by federal and state governments for decades. One of the main requirements set forth by these regulators is that drivers keep a logbook. However, most individuals do not know what this “logbook” actually is and how it could play a role in the event they are involved in a collision with a commercial truck. Here, we want to discuss the logbook and how it could help your case if you are trying to secure compensation for injuries or property damage.
Before we begin a discussion about the truck driver’s logbook, we need to discuss the hours of service requirements set down for all Colorado commercial truck drivers by the US Department of Transportation. Keep in mind that these hours of service requirements are not just for drivers in Colorado – they apply to nearly every commercial vehicle driver across the country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is directly responsible for making sure that commercial truck drivers follow the hours of service requirements.
The hours of service requirements were put in place in order to prevent drivers from operating while fatigued behind the wheel. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so any driver too tired to operate should certainly not be behind the wheel. Currently, the hours of service set forth by the FMCSA are as follows:
The truck driver’s logbook is important. In the past, drivers were required to keep written logbooks that tracked all of their on-duty hours. These logbooks were usually on paper, though that is not the case anymore. As of December 18, 2017, all commercial trucks must have electronic logging devices (ELD) installed in their vehicles that automatically track that required hours of service. The ELD will connect right to the truck’s engine. Drivers are allowed to continue to use paper logbooks for eight days, but only if their electronic logging device breaks.
This logbook, or ELD, will likely play a major role in any commercial truck accident that involves a fatality or severe injury. This is particularly true if driver fatigue is suspected. Commercial truck drivers are required to follow these hours of service requirements, and failing to do so could leave them liable for causing severe injuries if they are involved in an accident.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a truck accident, you need to work with a skilled Denver truck accident attorney who can use the court system to obtain various records related to the truck driver and the trucking company. This includes not only the electronic logging device but also all copies of inspection and maintenance records, the electronic control module for the truck, driver safety training, and more.