Top Rated Attorneys for Truck Accidents in Colorado Springs
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) establishes laws to ensure the safety of truck drivers and others on the road. When drivers falsify their trucking log books to increase their hours and driving time, they are not only costing their firm hundreds of dollars, but they may also be a part of a conspiracy by their employer to break the DOT-endorsed service regulations in order to increase profits.
On the DOT website, the current hours of lawful service specify that property carrying commercial motor car (CMV) drivers are subject to laws such as an 11-hour driving limit following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Furthermore, these drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 14 hours in a row after returning to duty after a 10-hour break.
As a result, the 14-hour period is not extended by the off-duty time. After 60/70 hours on duty in a 7/8-day period, a CMV driver is not permitted to drive. After taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty, a commercial truck driver may resume a 7/8-day period .
Why Do Truck Drivers Fake Their Daily Logs?
There are a variety of reasons why drivers or their employers falsify daily logs:
Financial Rewards: Money will be a primary motivation as long as the financial gains are greater than the penalty for deception.
Drivers are generally compensated per mile. As a result, the 18-wheeler driver earns more money the more miles he drives every day.
While the driver is not compensated for loading or unloading time, these hours count against the driver’s on-duty and work shift restrictions, which might impact the amount of money he or she can earn.
Car payments and insurance premiums must be made. If a semi truck isn’t moving, it isn’t earning money.
Forging a log may earn you up to $500 every week in rewards. For increased productivity or outstanding service, some companies may offer unofficial or off-the-books clearance.
Because drivers are often on the road, family conditions force them to spend more time at home when they are required. Many times, drivers make up for lost time by altering their logs to make up for missed time—even when they are at home till the last possible minute in real time. Drivers want to lengthen their “on duty” hours as the holidays approach so that they can make it home for the holidays.
A shipping company, also known as a shipper, optimizes earnings by delivering goods from the loading dock to the client in the quickest time possible. The shipper’s stress is constantly carried on to the carrier, who then passes it on to the driver. By failing to prepare ahead of time for predicted delivery times, the shipper might put additional strain on the goods when it has to reach the market quickly.
The dispatcher for the carrier puts sometimes excessive expectations on the driver. When a driver takes up a cargo, the dispatcher may inquire about the driver’s ability to deliver the load within a specific time frame. The dispatcher should ask the driver whether he or she has enough driving hours to complete the delivery lawfully in that time limit, but this question is seldom asked.
Each driver has their own biological clock, which dictates how much sleep they need. While some drivers may feel well-rested and begin driving before having had enough off-time duties, chronically tired drivers make bad judgements regarding the amount of their weariness and underestimate the danger , as noted by the DOT.
What Are the Regulations Regarding Work Hours?
Regulations have been placed in place by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to restrict the length of hours a trucker may drive without stopping. The following are the current hours-of-service regulations:
Drivers of Property-Carrying Cars:
After 10 consecutive hours off duty, truckers may drive for a maximum of 11 hours; after 10 consecutive hours off duty, truckers may not drive for more than the fourteenth consecutive hour.
Truckers must take a 30-minute break after driving for a total of eight hours without a break of at least 30 minutes.
Truckers are not allowed to drive after working 60/70 hours in 7/8 days.
These regulations include a few exceptions, including the following:
When faced with severe driving circumstances, truckers may extend the 11-hour maximum driving restriction by up to 2 hours.
If truckers operate within a 150-mile radius of the typical work reporting site and do not exceed a maximum duty duration of 14 hours, they may be excused from the hours-of-service restrictions.
What methods do truck drivers use to falsify their log books?
Truck drivers may falsify their logs in a variety of methods, including:
Claiming to be “in the sleeper” or “off duty” while they’re really loading, unloading, fueling, going through inspections, or travelling to the next place.
Making fictitious “model log books” to show inspectors, but neglecting to fill out the information as required on a daily basis.
Disconnecting or disabling some EOBR models from the car temporarily to prevent data from being recorded. Hide their activity by using “ghost logs” with numerous driver ID numbers.
Getting around speed limitations by overriding speed governors with the Safety Pass Pro. When delayed in traffic, taking the car out of gear to change the log from “driving time” to “off-duty.”
Adding any action lasting less than five minutes to the previous duty status, so quick trips from truck stops to terminals aren’t included as “driving time.”
The driver and/or the carrier are subject for prosecution if they fail to complete the daily duty activities record required by section 395.8 or 395.15, or if they make false reports in connection with such duty activities.
Apart from the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, research indicate that truck drivers who exceed these restrictions are noticeably less aware and respond slower in emergency circumstances. Some drivers flout the restrictions because they are paid by mile, which means the more miles they travel, the more money they make.
The trucking business may also pressurize drivers to drive faster and/or work longer hours. This will very certainly result in deadly car, pedestrian, motorbike, or other trucking collisions.
A driver, on the other hand, may be coerced by his or her employer to falsify records in order to labor outside the ambit of federal law. It is the driver’s responsibility to decline cargo that cannot be lawfully picked up or delivered in a timely manner.
Unfortunately for these drivers, if they break the law, the driver’s identity, not the company’s, appears on the log hours. However, if the driver refuses and is dismissed, they may file a whistleblower case against the firm. This sort of lawsuit is based on the False Claims Act, which states that when a person intentionally creates or aids in the cause of false or fraudulent issues, the False Claims Act applies.
This not only protects the employee, but it may also benefit the information’s source if the lawsuit is successful. The whistleblower who exposes the fraudulent problems on behalf of the government and workers may be eligible to earn a portion, or perhaps all, of the money recovered from the settlement.
Mr. Steven Anderson, a former United States Marine, filed a complaint with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) on May 24, 2010, alleging that his former employer, Foresight Transportation Group (Foresight), pressured 18-wheeler drivers to work longer hours than were safe, then falsified their log books to avoid suspicion.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Richard Morgan overturned a US Department of Labor investigation, ruling that Anderson’s refusal to work more hours than allowed or falsify records was “protected activity” under the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA), and that Anderson’s protected activity was the reason Foresight fired him. The ALJ ordered Anderson’s reinstatement and granted him $26,000 in damages, plus additional $20,000.00 in punitive penalties…
Logs & Truck Accidents
When a professional truck driver is involved in an accident with another truck, a pedestrian, or an car, most people assume the trucker is to blame. “In fatal collisions involving heavy trucks, 88 percent of the time the crash is related to driving mistake by both car and truck drivers,” according to the Colorado Highway Safety and Motor Cars website.
As truck and car drivers interact on Colorado roadways, troopers are on the watch for aggressive driving such as following too closely, hazardous lane changes, and speeding infractions.
Even yet, if a truck accident is wholly the responsibility of the truck driver, one of the first things a law enforcement official will do after the accident is go through the truck driver’s log book for any infractions. A victim might sue the driver and his or her firm for as much money as feasible if there are violations and the driver is not following the rules.
Attorney for Truck Accidents
Accident victims and commercial car drivers can experience a great deal of stress as a result of trucking accidents. This stress manifests itself not only in the form of physical or tangible pain, but also in the form of unpaid medical bills, financial difficulty, and mental discomfort.
Fortunately, there is assistance available for innocent truck accident victims, which may relieve a substantial amount of stress from an overburdened victim of carelessness, such as when truck drivers falsify their records.
On the other hand, if a truck driver is being harassed by their carriers or shippers to operate their trucks outside of regulatory norms, there is support available to defend you from the consequences that your unlawfully employed employer is threatening.
If you or someone you care about has suffered damages as a result of someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to call Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers To assist you in getting started in the correct path, we provide a free consultation and case review. For immediate assistance, call 719-300-1100.