Truck drivers are required to keep travel logs and records in all states, including Illinois. If you have been injured in a truck accident, the truck driver’s travel log could be an important piece of evidence that helps establish liability for the accident. Obtaining copies of the truck driver’s travel log can be challenging, which is why it’s so important to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
A truck accident attorney will have the resources to locate this crucial piece of evidence before it can be destroyed or tampered with. Quickly gathering and preserving the truck driver’s travel log could significantly strengthen your case and increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
What Information is Included in a Truck Driver’s Travel Log?
A truck driver’s travel log may contain valuable information that helps your attorney establish liability for a truck accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all truck drivers to maintain a travel log that includes the following information:
- The day, month, and year for the beginning of each 24-hour time period
- The total number of miles the truck driver drove within that 24-hour window
- The vehicle number assigned by the truck company, or the license number and licensing state for every truck and trailer driven during that 24-hour window
- The name of the carrier, or carriers. If the truck driver drove for multiple carriers in that 24-hour period, they must list each carrier they drove for in chronological order
- The address of the carrier’s main office
- The truck driver’s signature, verifying that all statements made within the log are true and correct
- The time zone the driver abides by, which should be their home terminal’s time zone
- The city/town and state where any change of duty occurs
- A description of any unusual circumstances, such as adverse conditions
- The total number of hours per duty status (how many driving, how many not)
- The shipping document number or the shipper’s name and a description of the cargo
The information included in a truck driver’s log can be beneficial to your case and can go a long way toward proving liability. For instance, if the truck driver’s log shows that the driver exceeded the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations, that could be used to demonstrate liability. The FMCSA’s hours of service regulations dictate that:
- Truck drivers may not spend more than 11 hours on the road after ten consecutive hours off duty.
- Truck drivers are not allowed to drive beyond 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty after ten consecutive hours off. Any off-duty time taken during the 14 hour period doesn’t extend the shift.
- Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after driving for eight cumulative hours if they haven’t had a break in that time frame.
- Truck drivers are only allowed to work a maximum of 60 hours within a seven-day window and 70 hours within an eight-day window.
- Truck drivers are permitted to extend their driving limits by two hours if they encounter hazardous weather conditions.
The truck driver’s hours of service should be noted in their travel log. If a truck driver violated the hours of service regulations, that could help prove that they were liable, especially in connection with other evidence.
How a Travel Log Could Help After an Accident
A truck driver’s travel log may be a useful piece of evidence following a truck accident. Many truck drivers who exceed the legally-allowed hours of service limits become fatigued, which can lead to accidents. If the truck driver’s log shows that they exceeded the legally allowed hours of service, then you and your attorney could use the travel log to argue that the truck driver was fatigued. If the truck company pressured the truck driver to violate the hours of service regulations in order to make more deliveries, then the trucking company could also have some liability.
Contact Spiros Law, P.C. Today
If you were injured in a truck accident through no fault of your own, contact the truck accident attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. at your earliest convenience. It is imperative that you obtain a copy of the truck driver’s travel log as soon as possible after the accident. Trucking companies may tamper with or even destroy these records in order to avoid liability. Trucking companies also may not voluntarily hand over the logbook, so your attorney might need to take legal action on your behalf in order to obtain these records.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to conduct a full investigation into the accident and gather the necessary evidence to prove liability. Contact Spiros Law, P.C. today at (815) 929-9292 for a free consultation.