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The record of duty status (RODS) is the log that drivers of commercial motor carriers must keep which indicates their hours of service. It is important for a Dallas truck accident claim because it can reveal if the trucker was driving over his/her allotted hours and thus may have been fatigued at the time of your accident, helping secure the evidence that the crash was his/her fault.

In the Federal Code of Regulations § 395.8, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth very rigid guidelines regarding logbooks that all truck drivers and truck companies must keep.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reiterates this rule in A Texas Motor Carrier’s Guide to Highway Safety: “Failure to complete or retain the log, or knowingly falsifying logs or other reports, makes the driver and/or carrier liable to prosecution.”

Drivers’ Record of Duty Status

 

Drivers have the option of either handwriting their RODS or inputting the required information into an automatic on-board recording device, though soon all truckers must use automatic on-board recording devices. The statutes require that the entries be current and that they are made by the driver only. Someone else cannot write them.

The information that drivers must record is specific. Below are some of the pieces of info drivers must include in their log. 

  • On each entry, the driver must indicate, “Off duty,” “Sleeper berth,” “Driving,” or “On-duty not driving”
  • The name of the city and state for each change of duty status
  • Date
  • Total miles driven that day
  • Truck or tractor and trailer number
  • Name of carrier
  • Driver’s signature/certification
  • The 24-hour period starting time
  • Main office address
  • Any pertinent remarks
  • Name(s) of any co-drivers
  • Shipping document number or the name of the shipper and commodity

Why are RODS rules so stringent? 

 

The FMCSA sets forth numerous rules for truck drivers that are meant to promote safety on the roads. One of these rules is limiting the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to operate without a break. This helps reduce the amount of fatigue-related truck accidents.

Having a detailed RODS helps hold truck companies accountable for their drivers. They are more apt to abide by the rules when they have a detailed log that law enforcement can review at any time.

Plus, should a truck driver ever cause an accident, his driver’s logbook will become evidence in any resulting personal injury claims, especially if investigators suspect fatigue caused or contributed to the accident. If the driver’s log shows he was overstepping the federal rules, the trucking company could be liable for any damages caused by the accident.

Involved in a truck accident in Dallas? Call Julie Johnson

 

If injured in a truck accident, contact an attorney so she can help preserve important evidence such as a driver’s RODS. For legal help in the Dallas area, contact attorney Julie Johnson to schedule a free consultation at (214) 290-8001.