commercial trucks are equipped with on-board recording devices which are used to log information,
including the driver’s hours behind the wheel. In the event of an
accident, the information from these recorders can be invaluable evidence.
These devices serve as a digital version to a traditional logbook that
drivers are required to keep, and data can be automatically entered into
There are federal regulations dictating how many hours a driver can drive
before they are required to rest for a set period. The Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits drivers to 14 hours of service, when
they can drive, inspect their vehicle, and perform repairs, before they
must take a 10 hour rest period.
There are requirements for the devices as well. The device records must
be provided if demanded, in either print or digital form. Federal, state,
and local officials are allowed immediate access to check the hours of
service logged. Printed records and handwritten notes may also be provided.
The on-board systems must be used in conjunction with support systems
at the company’s location. Employers must also be able to access
records. Records must be maintained for the previous seven days, as well
as the current day. Hard copies must be signed by the driver.
There are regulations in place to discourage tampering with records. In
2015, the FMCSA passed a regulation that allowed drivers the ability to
change information recorded by the recorders. The record must preserve
the original entry times, and the name of the individual who edited the
record, however. Driving times could not be edited except in a few circumstances.
Using On-Board Recorders as Evidence
The data from these devices should be examined if an accident occurs, to
ensure that the driver was driving legally. The records can show if the
driver was within their legal hours of service. The records should also
be checked for discrepancies that can indicate tampering. These records
can help determine who is liable for the accident, as well.
In order to collect damages, you will need to prove that the driver or
the company employing them was negligent. Records kept by on-board recording
devices can be a valuable piece of evidence to prove that proper steps
weren’t taken to prevent an accident. These records may show that
the driver was working beyond their allowable time, the truck was traveling
faster than legal, or other information which contributed to the accident.
Have you been injured in a trucking accident? Our
Atlanta truck accident attorneys can help you search for evidence of negligence. Truck accidents can often
cause catastrophic injuries, so you need the experienced legal representation
of our team to help you recover damages.
Contact The Weinstein Law Firm, LLC to schedule a
free case evaluation with our team.