Truck Driver Accidents and Log Book Violations in South Carolina

By: Robert F. Goings

Trucking Accidents: Driver Fatigue and Log Book Violations in South Carolina

Owners and drivers of 18-wheelers and other over-the-road commercial vehicles must comply with Federal hours of service laws:

  • No more than 11 hours driving following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • No more than 14 total hours driving and working after starting his shift
  • No more than 60 hours in an 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days

Studies show that truck drivers who exceed these limits are more likely to drive carelessly because they are sleepy, less alert and react slower to crisis situations. In some cases, truck drivers do not follow the hours of service laws because truckers are often paid per mile. The more miles, the money a truck driver can earn. Trucking company sometimes turn a blind eye to this misconduct, and on occasion, drivers are pressured by the trucking company to speed or exceed Hours of Service to meet delivery deadlines.

Commercial truck drivers are required to keep a detailed log book in order to comply with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Truck drivers are required to record their duty status every 24 hours, including total miles driven, total hours worked, and inspections of the operating conditions of their vehicles and equipment such brakes, steering mechanisms, lighting, conspicuity tape, tires, horn, windshield wipers, mirrors, coupling devices, cargo doors and load securing equipment. In order to hide hours of service violations – some truck drivers have illegally falsify their log books. Surveys indicate that between 25% and 75% of drivers violate the rules. Not surprisingly, many accidents can stem from hours of service and log book violations.

Why do Truck Drivers Violate Hours of Service and Log Book Laws?

Long-haul drivers are normally paid by the mile, not by the hour. Truck drivers are not allowed to receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of the standard 40-hour work week. Some drivers may choose to violate the Hours of Service to earn more money. Being paid by the mile, any work performed that is not actual driving is of no value to the driver, providing incentive to falsify the amount of time spent performing non-driving duties. Drivers can get away with this rule-breaking due to their paper-based log books. As a driver records their time spent behind the wheel, there is very little to stop them from forging their log books.

How to Prove Hours of Service and Log Book Violations?

It is the trucking company’s responsibility that drivers are not falsifying log books and violating the hours of service laws. Sometimes the ability to prove hours or service or log book violations can for the basis of a lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company for negligence, gross negligence, and willful conduct. In order to prove log book violations, an experienced truck accident injury attorney may be able to use satellite tracking (GPS) records, the truck’s “black box” data recorder, phone records, gas receipts, bills of lading, witness accounts and other information to prove that the driver falsified log books.

Contact to a Truck Accident Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina.

If you have any questions about truck accidents in South Carolina that may involve potential hours of service or log book violations, please feel free to contact a our Truck Accident Attorneys today for a free consultation. In order to preserve the evidence, it is best to contact an attorney without delay. The Goings Law Firm, LLC is a law firm with experience in trucking related injuries or deaths. We are available at (803) 350-9230 or you may contact us online to answer your questions.

What Clients are saying

100 stars! Mr. Goings and his staff did an amazing job in handling my case! They were with me every step of the way and made sure my case was handled with my best interest at heart! The process could not have been any easier. I am forever grateful to Mr. Goings and his team. South Carolina’s best attorney!

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After representing me after I fell down the stairs at work and injured my back, I would recommend the Goings Law Firm to handle any personal injury matter. Robert and Jessica made me feel like my case mattered to them and that my goals were their goals. They were tireless advocates for me yet they were also willing to be upfront and honest in their assessments of my options going forward. I never felt pressured to choose one course of action over the other. They treated my case like their own.

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- Anonymous

The Goings Law Firm went above and beyond assisting me after a serious auto accident. Robert Goings and Katie Gould were thorough and kind explaining every step of the process to me, sometimes more than once. Robert was persistent and professional making sure that we received the highest allowable compensation from all parties. I could not have been more pleased with the overall outcome.

- Car Accident Client

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- Workers’ Comp Client

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- Personal Injury Client

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After being rear ended in a car accident, I needed help navigating the insurance settlement. Having never needed the services of an attorney, I was very anxious about the whole process. Robert Goings & his staff were excellent to work with; at no point did I question my decision or feel that we would achieve anything less than the best possible settlement. I would never hesitate to recommend him to family, friends or strangers!

- Car Accident Client

Goings Law Firm was very helpful and patient with me. Goings Law Firm educated me about the legal side of things and help me understand my case. I would recommend Goings Law Firm to anyone.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Mr. Goings was caring and professional during a very difficult time in my life. I was faced with the sudden loss of my mother in a car accident, and Robert took the time to talk to me and check up on me throughout the duration of the case. I applaud his sensitivity and willingness to go the extra mile. I would recommend his firm to anyone that wants the best legal representation in South Carolina!

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- Workers’ Comp Client

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He was very kind and knowledgeable. He gave me status updates in a timely matter. I was VERY pleased.

- Personal Injury Client