Driving is inherently risky, but sharing the road with commercial trucks can be even more dangerous. Due to their size and weight, these trucks and their drivers must adhere to strict safety regulations, such as accurately updating their log books. Log book errors occur all too often and can have catastrophic results. Here’s how log book errors can lead to truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces the strict regulations with which truck drivers must comply. One of these rules is that truck drivers are required to maintain an accurate log of their hours of service (HOS). HOS regulations involve a maximum number of hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel per period of time. The purpose of this is to prevent driver fatigue, one of the most common causes of truck accidents.
The log book is used to ensure that truck drivers are taking the necessary rest breaks and are not exceeding the number of driving hours they are limited to. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers or truck companies may keep inaccurate log books in order to meet tight schedules and deliver goods on time. When log books are manipulated and regulations are not adhered to, it can result in severe consequences.
Common Log Book Errors
There are many different types of log book errors. Some of the most common types are as follows:
Missing Entries – Truck drivers must include their driving time, rest time, and off-duty hours in the log book. Sometimes they fail to record them all together. When there are missing entries in the log book it can be tough to tell whether or not the driver has complied with HOS regulations.
Inaccurate Records – Sometimes truck drivers will include the necessary entries in the log book, but miscalculate the actual numbers. Whether intentional or not, inaccurate records can have a negative impact on safety.
Falsification of Records – The falsification of records, like inaccurate records, includes the wrong numbers of hours. However, this is done intentionally in order to allow drivers to drive for longer periods of time than they would legally be permitted otherwise. When a truck driver has been driving for too long without breaks, their fatigue may result in slower reaction times and impaired judgement, which can lead to accidents.
More than One Log Book – Sometimes drivers may keep more than one log book with one to maintain their actual hours and another to show authorities when they are inspected. Again, this can have the same negative consequences, when drivers are fatigued.
The Result of Log Book Errors
Whether intentional or not, log book errors can result in severe consequences, such as:
- Increased risk of accidents
- Injuries (including permanent/catastrophic injuries)
- Liability for negligence
- Possible criminal charges
It’s apparent that log book errors are a serious issue in the trucking industry and can have an irrevocable impact.
The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Dallas Who Have Been Injured in a Trucking Accident Caused by Log Book Errors
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to speak with a qualified Texas personal injury attorney who has experience with truck accidents as soon as possible. He or she has an understanding of FMCSA regulations and can help to gather evidence and walk you through each step of your case.
The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough will help fight for your rights. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.