Using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices as Evidence

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, Using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices as Evidence

Electronic onboard recorders can be valuable pieces of evidence in truck accident cases. Commercial vehicle operators and trucking companies must comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) truck driving requirements.

While proving that these parties broke the law can be difficult, these onboard recorders can provide a number of details that can be used to establish the truck driver orcompany ‘s liability in your collision.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found that in 2010, there were 2,964 accidents involving tractor-trailers. Of these collisions, 82 proved to be fatal while 1,533 resulted in injuries. These accidents can occur on any road whether a small street or a busy highway like I-95 or the Sawgrass Expressway. It can be important to work with a personal injury attorney if you have been the victim of a negligent commercial vehicle operator. 

FMCSA Regulations

The FMCSA dictates regulations to trucking companies in order to make the roadways safer for both truck drivers and the general public. Rules for truck operators range from how long they can drive each day to how long they must be off duty before hitting the road again. This is especially important, as driver fatigue can increase the risk of vehicle collisions and serious injuries.

Typically, the FMCSA requires trucking companies to keep logbooks regarding the driver’s hours or service. However, FMCSA regulations also allow trucking companies to use electronic onboard recorders to record service hours. This ensures that there is a record of the actual hours that the driver works and provides evidence that the truck driving requirements were followed in the event of a truck accident. 

Requirements for Electronic Onboard Recorders

Whether a trucking company chooses to utilize electronic onboard recorders or manuallyrecord certain information, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to comply with the FMCSA regulations.

Information that must be recorded includes:

  • the driver’s start time;
  • time spent driving;
  • any stops or rest breaks; and
  • time spent sleeping. 

In addition to keeping track of this data, truck driving requirements state that the information recorded on this device – as well as printed and handwritten documents regarding the hours of service – must be immediately accessible to federal, state and local officials. If you are pursuing legal action against the driver or trucking company, your accident attorney can request this information to begin preparing your claim. 

Additional Evidence for Injury Cases

While electronic onboard recorders can be helpful for proving driver fatigue or noncompliance with FMCSA regulations contributed to your truck accident, there are other types of evidence that can be useful as well. For example, if the driver was distracted because of cell phone use or texting, your attorney may be able to request his or her phone record to establish negligence.

An accident reconstruction specialist may also help with your claim. This expert can use evidence of the accident to establish the events that led to your crash. He or she can also testify on your behalf should your case go to court. 

Contact an Attorney at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato 

Trucks can be dangerous vehicles, especially during a traffic collision; that’s why it’s so important that drivers and trucking companies follow truck driving requirements and regulations. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we understand the laws that must be followed and can initiate an investigation to gather evidence for your personal injury case.

Please call our office toll-free at 954-633-8270 for a no-cost initial consultation and to discuss how electronic onboard recorders may be used in your claim.

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