The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all truck drivers here in New York and elsewhere to maintain a log of their activities. Keeping a log book might seem like an intrusion and an inconvenience, but it can be a trucker's best tool after an accident. Accurate records can help with a truck accident defense.
Accordingly, it is important that truck drivers take filling out their log books seriously. Drivers are required to sign their log books to verify that the information supplied is accurate. Even if a motor carrier "forces" a driver to sign, the FMCSA will hold the driver responsible for the information in the book.
Truck drivers only make money when they deliver their loads, and it can be tempting to cross the line. Motor carriers might encourage drivers to break the rules in order to increase their bottom line. However, drivers need to speak up when this happens. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) protects drivers who refuse to "doctor" their log books at the behest of carriers. On the other hand, carriers who are defending lawsuits in the aftermath of truck accidents need to be able to trust that their drivers are keeping accurate records.
When a lawsuit is filed involving a truck accident that occurred here in New York, the other side will want to scrutinize the driver's log book in an attempt to prove negligence. If the information in the book is both accurate and truthful, it can only help a truck accident defense. Of course, other factors will need to be explored as well, but handling this requirement correctly could help the legal team defending the lawsuit focus on other factors that are more important to the outcome of the case.
Source: thetruckersreport.com, "How to Fill Out a Truck Driver Log Book", Accessed on Oct. 22, 2016