Truck drivers in Orleans Parish and across the country are required to comply with federal hours-of-service regulations. These rules limit the number of consecutive hours that drivers can work. They also mandate that drivers take rest periods during and after their work periods. These regulations exist to keep everyone safe on the road by encouraging truck drivers to get sufficient rest.

How are these hours-of-service regulations enforced? Drivers are required to keep a truck driver log in which they record their work hours and periods of rest. Government officials may inspect these logs to make sure that drivers are properly recording their hours and adhering to the hours-of-service rules. Scrupulous adherence to hours-of-service rules, coupled with rigorous enforcement efforts by government officials, can minimize the likelihood of an injurious or deadly commercial vehicle accident caused by a fatigued truck driver.

What information must be recorded in a truck driver log to be in compliance with the hours-of-service regulations? Drivers must write down the month, day and year for the beginning of each 24-hour period. They must write down the total number of miles driven during the 24-hour period, as well as the vehicle number or license number and state for each truck and trailer driven during the 24-hour period. They must write down the name and address of the carrier, and they must put their signature in the log.

The trucker’s log can be a crucial piece of evidence in a truck accident case. If the log shows the truck driver violated the hours-of-service regulations, or there is evidence the log was falsified, the injured plaintiff has a good chance of proving liability and recovering monetary damages.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service,” accessed on Nov. 25, 2016