Federal authorities are now investigating a Rhode Island truck accident to determine whether the driver falsified his log book entries to make it appear as though he had been driving the proper number of hours. Regulations require drivers to keep a log book to demonstrate that they have not been driving an excessive number of hours in one day.
The driver lost control of his truck, causing it to flip over onto a passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle sustained fatal injuries.
The purpose behind the regulations limiting the number of hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel is to limit fatigue and thereby reduce the chances of driver error. According to a recent study, driver fatigue is the sixth most common factor in trucking accidents.
The log book is the mechanism by which authorities monitor compliance with the hours of service regulations. Drivers will sometimes keep a duplicate log book that tracks the requirements of the regulations in order to allow themselves to drive a number of hours in excess of that permitted by regulations. When they do this, they put the safety of the motoring public at risk.