Trucking is a demanding job, and when commercial drivers fail to exercise caution on their routes, they put everyone on the road around them in serious danger. In an attempt to prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of drowsy driving collisions, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) devised regulations that limit how long truckers can travel without taking a break.
In order to ensure that commercial drivers follow these regulations, the FMCSA requires them to maintain logs of their travel time. According to FOX 2 Now, truckers have been keeping paper logs of their hours driven since 1938.
Since it is easy to falsify handwritten reports, though, the FMCSA has since mandated that commercial truckers and bus drivers record their hours digitally using an electronic logging device (ELD). Although it is theoretically possible to hack these devices in an attempt to circumvent regulations, the FMCSA is confident that they will save approximately 26 lives and prevent roughly 562 injuries annually by forcing more truckers to abide by federal transportation regulations.
Unfortunately, even the new ELD system is not foolproof when it comes to preventing 18-wheeler collisions. If you were hurt in a truck accident with a drunk, distracted, or drowsy driver, you may be able to secure compensation for the damages you incurred.
To discuss your case with a Jackson semi-truck accident lawyer and determine the most strategic way to proceed, contact Heilman Law Group. A compassionate attorney from our firm will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and negotiate with the liable party on your behalf so you can focus on your health. Call 601-914-1025 to schedule a case evaluation.
How Long Must Truckers Retain Their Logs and Supporting Documents?
In order to ensure truckers will be able to access their logs should a dispute arise regarding driving time, the FMCSA requires transportation providers to retain their drivers’ logs and relevant supporting documents at their primary place of operations for at least six months. Supporting documents include:
- Dispatch records;
- Weight/scale tickets;
- Fuel and toll receipts;
- Delivery receipts;
- Agricultural inspection reports;
- Customs declarations;
- Traffic citations; and
- Oversize/overweight permits.
Although motor carriers are only required to retain essential documents for six months, it is wise for transportation providers to save them for much longer. In general, they should retain such documents for as long as they have the physical space or digital capacity to do so. Fortunately, cloud-based storage makes it easy to keep a considerable amount of data for years without worrying about running out of space.
If you were hurt in a truck accident, reviewing the commercial driver’s logs is an essential step when gathering evidence. As long as the logs are accurate and have not been tampered with, they should reveal any breaches of duty.
Since the motor carrier may dispose of such logs after six months, though, it is critical that you begin the claims process as soon as possible. Although you technically have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Mississippi, there is a good chance that valuable evidence will be destroyed long before the deadline has passed.
If you sustained injuries in a collision with an 18-wheeler and you are ready to hold the liable motorist accountable, contact Heilman Law Group. Call 601-914-1025 to schedule a consultation with a semi-truck accident attorney in Jackson. You can learn more about truck accident claims in Mississippi by visiting the USAttorneys website.