Are Truck Drivers Required to Keep Electronic Logs?

The truck driving industry depends on safety and protocol to avoid fatal truck accidents. So how are these big rigs regulated? One major regulation deals with the amount of time a driver can spend on the road consecutively and the length of rest they need in between shifts. For example, in Texas, big truck drivers can drive no more than 11 hours after a 10-hour off-duty period. This is referred to officially as the Hours of Service Regulations. 

This data is tracked and recorded via official logs. These logs can be manual or electronic, depending on the company and the local laws. However, an electronic log can allow for correct logging of hours as the record doesn’t depend on hearsay. 

If there’s a truck crash, a legal team will examine the electric log to see if the driver is responsible for tracking honest hours. If you’ve been in a truck wreck, your driver should have an electric log. Here’s what you need to know about Texas’s electronic logs and how they can be used against an at-fault 18-wheeler driver. 

Dangers of Driving Too Long

With overtime incentives, big rig operators may be tempted to fudge their log to drive longer and make more money. This puts 18-wheeler drivers on the road with a higher risk of causing fatal accidents due to drowsiness. Drivers who are fatigued at the wheel can cause a truck wreck by:

  • Failing to notice traffic signs
  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Drifting into another lane
  • Being more susceptible to road rage due to lack of sleep

This is why electronic logs in Texas are so important; the technology collects data based on the vehicle’s movement rather than the word of the driver. This makes the roads theoretically safer and reduces room for human error. It also clarifies the reason behind your truck accident and can be used against a negligent driver in court with the help of a commercial truck injury lawyer in Houston Texas.

New Rules from the FMSCA

Due to the electronic log’s effectiveness as opposed to having drivers manually report their hours, this technology has been supported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). Not only are these electronic log devices recommended, but they are also required by law. As of December 18, 2017,all trucking companies must switch from the analog Hours of Service logbooks to electronic devices.

Electronic logging is also regulated. For a device to fit the regulations, it must be compliant and certified by the manufacturer. This simplifies the logging process for companies and prevents the ability to lie on Hours of Service. In turn, this protects drivers on the road from having to share the streets with fatigued, overworked big truck drivers who may be prone to errors that could culminate in a truck crash.

A legal team can investigate a truck driver’s logs to see if there are any discrepancies. 

Call One of the Best Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston

If a company has cheated on logbooks leading to a fatigued driver accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Let a good Houston car accident attorney investigate the commercial truck company logs and determine if they’re responsible for your accident. We’ll support you with our well-rounded knowledge of the industry and our passion for what we do. 

Schedule your no-obligation, free consultation today with the Stephens Law Firm to get started.

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