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Racing Against the Clock Can Cause More Truck Crashes and Deaths

November 2, 2018
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The federal rule requires truck drivers a rest break after driving for 8 hours. According to some representatives of the industry, the rule caused many arguments and even is considered to be harmful as it can cause more crashes and deaths.


The year 2017 broke the record of having the highest level of large truck crash numbers in 29 years, according to the records of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Todd Spencer, the president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told that drivers don’t feel safe they feel like there is a gun pointed to their heads.


Over 37,130 people have died in motor vehicle crashes. There was a 2% decrease from the prior year. Meanwhile, large truck crashes rate rose by 9%to 4,761. The count of lost lives increased by 392 prior the previous year. Around 1,300 of deaths were truck drivers and the remaining 72 % took place in the other vehicle involved the crash.


If to look at the detailed facts, the death rate increased by 221 in 2017 from the previous year to 3,844.   That means a 4% increase for trucks that weight more than 33,000 pounds.


Chief counsel for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Jim Mullen said that although drivers are speeding, the crashes are not connected with the fatalities and the federal hours-of-service rule. The rule limits 11-hour-driving in a 14 period with a 30-minute break at 8 hours.


However, the FMCSA is taking some modifications. While reviewing over 5,200 comments, FMCSA found out that 30-minute break received the most reviews.


Truck drivers voted safe rest areas as their next greatest concern. They voted it their 9th high-priority concern, which made it the 5th concern overall.



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