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Electronic trucker logs phasing out older paper logs

Last week, we discussed how important it is for truckers to get adequate sleep before getting behind the wheel of a semi-truck. There are regulations, called Hours of Service regulations, which dictate the number of hours a trucker can drive per day and per week. In order to verify compliance with those HOS regulations, truckers have to keep logs of their driving activities. Up until recently, those logs were kept primarily on paper. A new law means that many truckers will have to start using electronic logs within the next 2 years.

Electronic logs have some very big advantages over paper logs. One of these is that the electronic logs generally can't be altered. Altering paper logs or even having more than one logbook is a recognized problem. The change to electronic logs means that truckers won't be able to falsify their logbooks any longer.

Many companies are already using electronic logs to keep track of drivers. Independent drivers are arguing against electronic logs. They claim that these logs place the possibility of coercion or harassment on them because of their working hours.

It seems as though those independent truckers are the minority. The American Trucking Associations says the rule will change trucking for the better. It should make it much easier to keep tabs on truckers' driving hours to ensure truckers are in compliance with the regulations that help them to avoid trucker fatigue.

If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, the driving logs from the trucker can play a huge role in your case. If the log shows that the trucker wasn't in compliance with the HOS regulations, that might work in your favor.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Truckers Get Two-Year Deadline for Electronic Logging Devices," Loretta Chao, Dec. 10, 2015

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