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What Is a Truck Driver’s Travel Log?

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 3:56 pm    

Truck accident claims involve many pieces of documentation and evidence. The government requires truck drivers and trucking companies to keep many different types of records. One of the types of records that truck drivers are required to keep is a document known as a travel log. If you have a truck accident claim, you should learn more about truck driver travel logs and how they may be useful in your case. Reach out to us today.

What Is a Logbook?

A logbook, sometimes called a driver’s log or travel log, refers to the records that commercial truck drivers are required to keep to log the hours they spend on duty and actively driving their vehicles. State and federal laws limit the hours that a commercial truck driver may spend on duty or driving. Drivers are limited in the number of consecutive hours they may drive, the total number of hours they may spend driving and on duty each day, and the number of hours they may spend on duty during a workweek. These laws also specify the minimum amount of time drivers must spend off duty and resting in between duty and driving periods.

Logbooks also contain other information such as:

  • When each 24-hour day begins for recording purposes
  • The total miles a driver has completed in a 24-hour window
  • The trucking company or companies the driver is working for
  • The driver’s home terminal, as well as the main office for the carrier or carriers they work for
  • The locations where any changes of duty occurred

The logbook allows a truck driver’s employer and state and federal officials to confirm that a driver has been following their hours of service limitations. Drivers (and the companies that employ them) may be subject to disciplinary action for drivers’ violations of the hours of service rules, including being removed from service until the mandatory off-duty/rest periods have been completed, fines, or even suspension of licenses.

truck driver behind the wheel

How Do Truck Drivers Keep Their Travel Logs?

Historically, truck drivers kept paper logs of their hours. However, since 2018, most commercial truck drivers are required to have electronic logging devices (ELDs) that record the hours they spend on duty and driving. These devices log when a truck’s engine is running and when the truck is moving, as well as some other data. The ELD is not a complete record, though, so a trucker is still required to maintain a paper logbook, as well. If you have pressing questions about your case, contact us immediately.

Why Are Truck Drivers’ Travel Logs Important?

Truck drivers’ travel logs allow regulators to ensure that truck drivers are following the hours of service rules and getting sufficient rest and sleep. Truck driving can be physically and mentally taxing for any driver, especially because drivers already spend hours per day on the road, often for multiple days at a time.

A truck driver who exceeds the hours of service limits runs the risk of becoming drowsy or fatigued while behind the wheel. A drowsy or fatigued driver poses a hazard to others on the road, since tiredness and fatigue can impair a driver’s reaction times, perception, and judgment, or may even cause them to nod off or fall asleep. Thus, truck driver travel logs help ensure that commercial trucks continue to be safely operated on public roads.

Using a Truck Driver’s Travel Log in a Truck Accident Case

In addition to ensuring that truck drivers safely operate their vehicles, truck driver travel logs may also play an important role in a truck accident claim. While violating the hours of service rules by itself does not necessarily constitute negligence, a travel log may constitute evidence that a truck driver may have been drowsy or fatigued at the time of a crash if the driver had exceeded their hours of service limits.

Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies may try to conceal evidence that a driver’s fatigue caused or contributed to a truck accident by altering or destroying travel logs. Although electronic logs can make it difficult for drivers and trucking companies to alter the evidence, if evidence of tampering is found that may constitute spoliation of evidence. When that occurs, if your truck accident case goes to trial you may be entitled to an adverse inference, or a legal presumption that the logs would have included evidence unfavorable to the truck driver or the trucking company.

trucks at a truck stop

Contact The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs If You Were Involved in a Truck Crash

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Washington state that wasn’t your fault, call the Lakewood truck accident lawyers of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs at (253) 588-6696 or fill out our website contact form for a free initial consultation. Let our truck accident attorneys help you understand your legal rights and options and discuss what our firm can do to help you pursue financial recovery and accountability from the trucking company at fault for your injuries.


Five Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays

Posted on Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 5:24 pm    

Even though gas prices are up 65 percent for the 2021 holiday season over last year, if the past is an accurate predictor, the majority of U.S. travelers will still choose to drive to their destinations. Early estimates for this year predicted that more than 100 million of our fellow citizens would jump behind the wheel to meet friends and family for holiday get-togethers, fuel costs notwithstanding. Most of us love the independence that being in the driver’s seat provides, but that freedom comes with the responsibility to drive safely.

Have Your Vehicle Inspected Before Your Holiday Trip

Before you take to the road, whether it’s 25 miles or 2,000 miles, your first priority is checking on the condition of the vehicle you plan to use. If you have not had an inspection recently, get one just prior to your journey. The probability of the inspected vehicle getting into an accident is lowest right after the inspection but increases as time passes. A bonus to driving a car that has a clean bill of health is your peace of mind as the driver. No worries about improper wheel alignment or worn brake pads.

car mechanic inspection

What Does a Typical Vehicle Inspection Checklist Include?

The state of Washington does not require passenger car safety inspections. But if you are concerned about your car’s ability to get you to your destination safely, a qualified mechanic will check the following:

  • Air filters
  • Brakes
  • Engine
  • Fluids
  • Filters
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Steering mechanism
  • Safety restraints
  • Tires
  • Transmission
  • Wipers
  • Window glass

As part of the inspection, the mechanic will also ensure that your car’s VIN, registration, and insurance information are up to date and easy to locate. Now you are ready to drive!

Five Tips to Keep You Safe

When you know you’re going to travel, keep these tips in mind to help you reach your destination safely.

Don’t Drive While Distracted: The environment in your vehicle as well as your actions while driving impact the safety of you and your passengers while you are on the road. Distracted driving kills eight people daily in car accidents in the U.S. Distractions include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Scrolling through your entertainment system
  • Using your cell phone
  • Loud conversations

Don’t Drive While Impaired: Impaired driving refers to driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Approximately 29 people die daily in crashes involving alcohol in the U.S. Both illegal and prescription drugs can cause unsafe driving, just like drunk driving can. Driving while impaired has a negative impact on your:

  • Vision
  • Attentiveness
  • Motor skills
  • Decision-making ability

Don’t Drive Without Checking the Weather Conditions: Before embarking on your holiday trek, check the weather where you are starting out and along the route where you will be driving, all the way to your destination. Every year, more than 1.2 million crashes are related to weather. The following adverse weather conditions, which vary depending on your geographic location, can cause traffic accidents:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • High Winds
  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Water level
  • Pavement conditions

Don’t Drive Faster Than the Posted Speed Limits: With so many drivers on the road during the holidays, don’t allow yourself to become impatient and drive too fast. Speed limits are determined by transportation engineers. The design of the road and how fast a majority of drivers travel on that type of road are factored into the determination of the speed limit. Ignoring these posted limits can increase the risk of an accident. Speed limits for the following types of roads and highways vary by state, so be alert to any changes while on your road trip:

  • Unpaved
  • Country
  • Urban
  • Suburban
  • State
  • Interstate
  • Toll

Don’t Drive When You Are Tired: Although it is not yet possible to pinpoint how many traffic accidents are related to drowsy driving, experts agree that people can be injured or die when a tired driver gets into an accident. On the bright side, driving while tired is preventable. To ensure a safe journey, do the following before you get behind the steering wheel:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
  • Check medications that may induce drowsiness
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

happy family driving safely

Why Should You Call the Personal Injury Attorneys of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs if You Have Been in an Accident?

If you or a family member is seriously injured in a traffic accident due to another person’s negligence during the holidays, or at any other time, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs at (253) 588-6696 to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can also fill out our contact form for a prompt reply from a member of our legal team.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. There are no upfront costs, and we don’t get paid unless you do. Our attorneys specialize in achieving the best outcomes possible for our personal injury clients. Since 1925 our firm has worked hard for victims and their families, and that kind of experience is hard to beat. Call today.


Why Is the Black Box Important in Truck Accidents?

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2021 at 2:20 pm    

Each year, hundreds of people across the nation are injured in large truck accidents. Because it takes them longer to stop and they have large blind spots on all sides, large trucks can often cause devastating accidents. In order to keep truck drivers and the trucking companies that hire them accountable for a driver’s behavior behind the wheel, many trucks now contain black boxes.

There are several important things to know about black boxes installed in large trucks. From the way they function to the data they collect, these devices can be an important element in determining negligence and liability in a large truck accident case. If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck accident, seek medical attention for your injuries and contact one of The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs’s personal injury attorneys to discuss your circumstances.

headon truck accident

What Does the Black Box Do?

The black box is a device installed in large trucks in order to collect data. There are two types of black boxes, an ELD (Electronic Logging Device) and an EDR (Event Data Recorder). Trucks are required to contain an ELD, but not an EDR.

The data from a black box can be helpful in an investigation, should you or your attorney seek to prove a truck driver or trucking company was liable for an accident. Some examples of the metrics the black box gathers include:

  • The truck’s speed
  • The driver’s breaks
  • The length of a driving period (both in time and in distance)
  • The truck’s tire pressure
  • The driver’s use of a seatbelt
  • The truck’s GPS location
  • The vehicle tilt
  • The truck’s braking activity

Crash Liability

Determining liability is contingent upon several factors, one of which is negligence. In most cases, negligence is defined by an action, or lack of action, that can bring harm to another party. Negligence in large truck accidents can occur in several ways.

Any of the following parties may be considered negligent in a large truck accident:

  • The truck driver whose failure to obey traffic laws caused an accident
  • The trucking company whose insurance covers an at-fault driver
  • The trucking company that hired an underqualified driver
  • The cargo loading company whose lack of proper loading caused cargo to fall
  • The company responsible for maintaining the truck who failed to ensure fully functioning equipment
  • The municipal body responsible for road and roadside conditions which caused an accident

In many cases, a party will be considered liable to the same degree to which they are found to have been negligent. In the state of Washington, parties are able to pursue as much compensation as they are entitled to. Even if you were 99 percent at fault for the accident, you could still recover one percent of the damages the accident caused you from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

For example, if you are entitled to $90,000 for damages sustained in a large truck accident but are found to have been 30 percent liable, you’d be eligible to collect only $60,000.

wrecked truck

Tampering with Black Box Data

Even though a black box is intended to collect enough data to be informative in the event of an accident, trucking companies can attempt to hide or even destroy this evidence. As you might expect, this data can be an important part of a truck accident case, as it may prove a truck driver or trucking company’s liability in an accident.

Trucking companies may attempt to tamper with this data in several ways. They may have the black box reset or the truck repaired before the injured party is able to gather evidence. The company may even attempt to destroy the box and its data.

How The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Can Help

Dealing with injuries and damages from a large truck accident can be an extremely difficult process. If you or someone you love has been injured in one of these accidents, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Fortunately, the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are prepared to help you through the process of communicating with insurance companies, gathering evidence, and strategizing so that you can build a compelling truck accident case.

Don’t allow one more thing to stand between you and the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a large truck accident, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696, or reach out to us online. We’ll connect you with one of our personal injury attorneys so that you can determine the best course of action in your truck accident case and begin your journey towards justice today.


How to Prevent Autumn Car Accidents

Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2021 at 12:10 am    

As autumn approaches, the days get shorter, and the temperature begins to drop. These factors, in combination with heavier holiday traffic, can contribute to an increase in vehicle accidents in the fall. Each year, hundreds of people are injured in accidents around the nation as a result of the changing seasons. With a few simple steps, you can avoid being involved in such an accident and can protect both yourself and your loved ones.

Be Aware of External Conditions

There are many factors outside of your vehicle that can be dangerous to any driver who is not paying attention. One such factor might be the weather conditions. As the temperatures begin to get cooler, frozen precipitation and black ice on the roads become more common. These conditions may be hazardous to drivers who are not actively avoiding them.

Another external factor that may present a hazard is the shortened days. As Daylight Saving Time ends, the sun sets earlier, and the roads become dark. There are several ways you can prepare for the shorter days of autumn. Be sure that your vehicle’s headlights are in proper condition, both your regular lights and your brights, so that you will be able to see clearly at night. It’s also important that you visit your optometrist to ensure your vision is in the best condition for driving at night.

With the approach of major holidays, the flow of traffic between cities and across the country is greatly increased. In order to allow for the heightened number of motorists on the road, it’s important to remain fully aware and alert as you drive this fall.

distracted driving

Practice Safe Driving Habits

While external factors may contribute to a motor vehicle accident, there are several practices you can engage in as you get behind the wheel this autumn that can help keep you safe. One important thing to do is to remain alert at all times. There are a few things that may distract you from focusing on the road. Some examples include:

  • Drowsy driving: operating a motor vehicle requires focus. If you have not had the proper amount of sleep, you’re putting not only yourself in danger but the other motorists with whom you share the road.
  • Distracted driving: driving without focusing on the road can be very dangerous. Things like cell phone use, looking at GPS navigation, and talking to passengers can all be distracting to a driver and potentially hazardous to others on the road.
  • Drunk/drugged driving: not only is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol dangerous, but it’s also against the law. Those who drive under the influence experience blurred vision, impaired judgment, and loss of depth perception, which can be very dangerous.

Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained

There are several important steps you can take to make sure your vehicle is functioning properly this autumn. One important safety measure is to check your windshield wipers. With more frequent precipitation, it’s important to have your windshield wipers installed and functioning correctly so that you can have clear visibility at all times.

Another safety measure you can take is to check your tires. You’ll want to make sure the tread on your tires has not worn down, as this can make driving on slippery surfaces hazardous. It’s also important to check your tire pressure. Cooler temperatures can affect the pressure of your tires, so you’ll want to use a tire pressure gauge to make sure the psi (pounds per square inch) of your tires match the recommended amount listed on the sticker inside the driver’s side door or in the driver’s manual.

What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are several important things you can do. First, call for medical attention if you need it. Also, call the authorities and report the accident. Take pictures of the scene, including any injuries you sustain and your damcar accident victimaged property. Avoid talking to anyone at the scene more than is necessary, except to exchange insurance information. Finally, call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs to connect with one of our attorneys and discuss your motor vehicle accident case.

 

Need Help? Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you know how difficult it can be to go through the process of gathering evidence, communicating with the other involved parties, and building a compelling vehicle accident case.

Luckily, the Lakewood personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs are more than prepared to help you pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs today at (253) 588-6696 to discuss your circumstances. We’ll help you determine the best course of action as you pursue the justice you deserve.