When a truck accident occurs, the result can be fatal. Collisions involving trucks are dangerous for many reasons, but the size and weight of the vehicles can make any crash a fatal one. Commercial trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds and the impact of these vehicles can cause some serious damage to other vehicles on the road.
When we want to prove liability in a truck accident, one of the first things we do is ask to see the log of the truck driver’s hours. All truck drivers keep one, and it is a valuable tool in an injury claim.
What exactly is the trucking log?
The trucking log allows drivers to keep track of the hours spent on the road. These hours can be recorded on paper, but more and more often, they are recorded electronically.
There are strict rules regarding hours of service (HOS) that must be followed by truckers. Rather than driving continuously for extended periods in order to deliver their goods as soon as possible, drivers are required to take breaks. Truck drivers carrying goods can remain on the road for an 11-hour period, but they must have at least a 10-hour break between their next shift.
There is a reason for these limits: driver fatigue is a leading cause of crashes. Requiring truckers to take rests is the best way to prevent them from falling asleep while driving, and putting themselves and others at risk of injuries.
Why is it important?
The trucking log is important because it allows employers to keep track of employees while making sure that they are following the rules. There are times when truckers may exceed the speed limit in order to get a delivery done at a faster pace. Log books record hours of driving as well as miles which allows employers and attorneys to examine whether or not a truck driver is obeying the speed limit.
Another reason the trucking log is so important is that it is used as evidence when trucking accidents occur. The data from the log let investigators know if the truck driver was following the specific requirements when the accident occurred.
If the tracking log shows that the truck driver was out on the road for longer than 11 hours at a time, or without taking a break for at least 10 hours, that driver may be held responsible for the accident. The decision to keep driving could be considered negligence in a case against the truck driver and, potentially, the company that employs the driver, as well.
When involved in an accident with a truck driver, the chances of experiencing severe injuries and major damage to your vehicle are quite high. If you have experienced something as traumatic as a truck-related accident, seek legal advice from a Huntsville truck accident attorney to find out what you can do to recover compensation by suing for damages.
Here at Martin & Helms, we know how to perform a thorough investigation of the accident. We will review the trucking log for the driver to find out if that driver was following proper protocol. When you need legal support and representation, we are here for you. Call us at your convenience at 256-539-1990 or complete our contact form. With offices in Huntsville and Decatur, we are always close by when you need us.