According to the National Safety Council, roughly half of America’s adult population admits to driving while drowsy. While many of us have gotten behind the wheel feeling a little tired, driving while drowsy can be just as bad as drunk driving. Impaired reflexes, poor reaction times, and the danger of falling asleep behind the wheel emphasize the importance of rest when it comes to operating a vehicle. This is particularly true of truck drivers, who must abide by federal hours of service regulations. When truck drivers violate their hours of service laws, truck accidents can happen.
The Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau would like to discuss how and why truck drivers falsify their rest and stop logs. We’ll then discuss legal actions to consider against these reckless, negligent drivers and the companies that allow these violations to occur without imposing consequences.
The Dangers of Violating Hours of Service Violations
Hours of service regulations are in place to ensure that truck drivers are properly rested and alert before they get back on the road. This restriction on time behind the wheel can save lives. When truck drivers drive for too long behind the wheel, it can cause catastrophic crashes and fatalities.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that around 13 percent of commercial vehicle drivers were considered drowsy at the time of their collision.
Reasons Truckers to Falsify Their Logs
While logging hours and abiding by hours of service regulations is mandatory, truckers have sometimes falsified their logs for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:
- Making deliveries on time when there is very little time to do so
- Making up for lost time due to traffic, weather, or personal issues
- Maximizing mileage (especially if they are paid by the mile)
- Desire to return home soon after the job is done
- Rushing through a backlog of paperwork
None of these are good reasons to be negligent about safe driving practices.
How Trucker Logs Are Verified
To detect falsified driver logs, it’s important for companies to check the trucker’s log against supporting documentation. The supporting documentation may include fuel receipts, receipts from tolls, delivery receipts, loading and unloading checks, communications logs, customs paperwork, and repair receipts.
While the process of checking logs against supporting documentation and mileage may be tedious, it’s crucial for safety on the road.
Disciplining Truck Drivers for Falsifying Logs
If a trucking company finds out that one of their drivers has been falsifying their logs, it’s imperative that the driver be properly disciplined. That could mean suspension or outright termination of the driver depending on the nature of the infraction.
Whatever disciplinary measures are taken, It’s imperative that the truck driver who falsified their driving log is not allowed to operate their truck until the disciplinary actions are completed.
Legal Action When Trucking Companies Don’t Take Action
If a trucking company has an employee that falsified their logs but was still allowed to operate their truck without facing repercussions, our law firm will make sure that the company is held accountable. Road safety cannot be disregarded in such a blatant manner, and trucking companies have a duty to make sure their drivers and the vehicles they drive are safe.
Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a collision, contact our trusted team of truck accident attorneys. You can reach the law firm of Chanfrau & Chanfrau in Daytona Beach at (866) 610-0653 and in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760.