When truckers are on the road, they are required to record details about their trips. Specifically, they must record the number of miles they drive, the number of hours on the road and the amount of rest time. Truckers are required to track that information to help ensure they are well-rested before hitting the road for trips.
Unfortunately, there are drivers in Baton Rouge and across the country who falsify their log books. Because many truckers are paid by the mile, taking a shorter night of rest means a driver could spend more time on the road.
It also means a trucker may be fatigued and cause a fatal truck accident, which is exactly what one man did.
On Jan. 22, 2009, a trucker reported that he was sleeping. In actuality, he was driving across state lines and landed in rush hour traffic the next morning. At about 9:30 a.m., he crashed into car, killing the driver and seriously injuring a passenger.
When officials investigated the accident, they determined that the trucker was responsible for the fatal crash. Not only had he falsified his log book the night before the accident, but in the year leading up to the fatal crash, he falsified his books 15 times.
According to the Department of Justice, truckers must certify the truthfulness and accuracy of their logbooks, and the logbooks are inspected by the United States Department of Transportation. When truckers provide false information, they are not only endangering the lives of everyone on the road, they are also breaking the law.
Thankfully, this trucker is being held accountable. He will be spending 18 months in prison, and he is prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle without express permission from the court. It's unclear whether the family of the car accident victim will file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold him accountable for the ramifications of his choices.
Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, "Truck Driver Sentenced for Falsifying Log Books: Investigators," David Chang, May 7, 2012