Recent news headlines have been filled with information about big changes coming to the federal trucking safety regulations that pertain to hours of service. These regulations ease restrictions on truck drivers with regard to the number of hours they can work without taking sufficient breaks. Many safety advocates argue that the new changes will translate to increased risks for other motorists, as truckers will be able to drive longer hours with less rest. Driver fatigue is a well-documented contributor to accidents involving large trucks. This raises the question: why would trucking industry insiders advocate for the changes?
Six Reasons the Trucking Industry Wanted Changes to the Hours of Service Rules
- Proponents of the revisions argue that truck drivers should be able to self-monitor their own fatigue.
- Industry insiders argue that the overnight scheduling rules result in more trucks being on the roads during daytime hours. Since traffic is heavier during the day, the trips take longer to finish.
- Trucker groups state that the current regulations were developed too quickly.
- Such groups further argue that the regulations require that in some cases, drivers are required to take two full days off before they can work again, which they feel is too much.
- American Trucking Association President Bill Graves has stated that the restrictions currently in place were implemented with insufficient research, analysis, and understanding of their consequences, resulting in increased crashes.
- Put simply, the more hours that drivers can operate, the more money that can be made on behalf of trucking companies.
As a motorist, should you be concerned by the changes to the regulations? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Trucker fatigue is a serious safety issue facing all drivers. It is important for all motorists to be aware of this problem.