Every type of auto accident can be devastating. Accidents involving large commercial trucks can have a lasting impact on your life and make it difficult to recover. Eighteen-wheelers can be heavy, weighing in at around 80,000 pounds once they are fully loaded. This is 20 times more than a regular car. Accidents involving an 18-wheeler can lead to fatalities.
Truck drivers must pass rigorous driving exams to obtain their license. They also need to keep detailed records of their driving time and rest periods to avoid road accidents. A travel log is required for every commercial vehicle driver. The driver’s log will be the first thing to be checked in the event of an 18-wheeler accident.
Here our Greenville truck accident lawyers explain how the driver’s log can help you prove fault and win your case.
Driving Time Regulations for Truckers
Did you know that pilots must rest for several days after flying for a few hours? Truck drivers are subject to the same rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established rules and regulations to ensure that truck drivers are alert and well-rested while driving.
These rules put restrictions on driving time.
- 11-Hour Driving Limit: Drivers can drive for up to 11 hours after being off duty for ten consecutive hours.
- 14-Hour Time Limit: Drivers are prohibited from driving after ten hours of service.
- 30-Minute Pauses: Truck drivers must take a 30-minute rest after eight hours of driving.
- 60/70 Hour Limit: Drivers may not work more than 60/70 hours while on duty for 7/8 days.
These rules encourage safe truck driving and alertness on the part of truck drivers. Drivers who are found in violation of these rules will be penalized. Truck drivers who are not following the hours of service rules may be held responsible if they cause an accident.
Why Is Drivetime Regulated?
You hear this all the time when learning to drive. “Don’t drive while you’re tired,” it says. If you do, you will likely veer off your lane and cause an injury. Even if you don’t feel tired, your driving poses a serious risk to other vehicles. Drivers who are tired are slower to react, have poor judgment, and are often unable to make quick decisions that could save lives.
FMCSA regulates truck drivers’ operating hours to ensure they are well-rested and capable of making quick decisions while on the road. Accidents are less likely to be caused by drivers who are resigned.
How Do Truck Drivers Log Their Time?
Drivers used to log their hours of service (HOS), on paper in the past. These logs included the time, date, and location of each point along a route. These logs were completed by the driver and sent in for verification. All truck drivers now have ELDs or Electronic Logging Devices. These devices allow trucking companies, drivers, and the Department of Transportation to monitor driving metrics.
ELDs are connected to the truck’s engine and can track speed, stops, and starts as well as location. Drivers have an app that allows them to track their driving time and record breaks and rest periods. ELDs can detect an accident and notify the trucking company.
The ELD can help you understand what happened in an accident involving a truck. ELDs can tell you how fast the truck was traveling at impact, how long it had been driving before the accident, and, most importantly, whether or not the driver violated the FMCSA rules and regulations.
What Do You Do If You’re Involved in a Truck Accident?
Truck drivers know that even the smallest mistake or momentary distraction can lead to disaster. If you have been involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, the travel logs of truck drivers can be a valuable resource. An attorney can help you contact a trucking company to obtain a driver’s HOS log. This will establish liability and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Call Hernandez & Cabra today if you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler. Our Greenville truck accident lawyers have years of experience helping victims receive compensation. Call us now to avoid being harmed by an accident.