Driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. Yet, the way that the truck industry operates, there is a strong incentive for truck drivers to risk such fatigue on a regular basis. Truck drivers generally are paid for the miles they drive and not the hours they work. As such, there is a tempting financial incentive for truck drivers to save or even falsify duty hours in their log books. In this post, I explain how to find driver fatigue in your next trucking accident case.
How to Find Driver Fatigue
Figuring out how to find driver fatigue in your next truck accident case does not required any knowledge of rocket science. However, it does require considerable work and a diligent, careful and technology-backed approach. The method that the truck accident lawyers at Whiting Law Group use to find driver fatigue is set out below.
Secure the Log Books
First, you must request the driver’s log books for the previous six months from the date of the accident. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, the trucking company and driver can destroy the records after this time period. This is very important as once the logbooks are destroyed, proving violations can be very difficult to show.
Review the Log Books
Second, you need to hire a qualified consultant who has the expertise and technology to analyze the log books in detail. These qualified consultants, using specialized software, can determine if there were violations and if so, if those violations were intentional.
Trucking companies should also have this ability to detect such falsifications made by their drivers. Upon discovery of any violations committed by its drivers, the trucking company is required by law to write up the driver and in some instances require additional training. If the company fails to do so, this constitutes a disregard of the rules by the company. In most instances, this illegal activity occurs when a company is more focused on miles or profits than on public safety.
Third, after obtaining the log books, having a qualified consultant review them and run the books through sophisticated technology, you then run the mileage between all stops which have been logged or shown on the driver’s log books.
Secure and Review Relevant Records
In addition to the log, you need to obtain and review all of the truck driver’s trip information like fuel receipts, toll receipts, loading and unloading receipts and even dispatch records. These important records can help show that the log books were falsified as they may reveal an entirely different time frame of driving hours than documented in the log books.
Given the inherent risks in the pay system for truck drivers, all the truck accident attorneys at Whiting Law Group know that fatigue should be considered in every trucking collision. We have learned how to find driver fatigue in the available evidence — we dig into the log books and all the fuel, toll, unloading or loading and dispatch receipts and records. That is the best way to determine if fatigue was present in every truck case.
At Whiting Law Group, we are committed to improving the safety of our roads by working to reduce the dangers posed by unscrupulous and negligent truck drivers and trucking companies. As a member of the National Advisory Board for the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, I strive to hold those who do wrong to account for their negligent and harmful actions.