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Congress Shouldn’t Roll Back Safety; the Steps We’ve Taken Keep Tired Truckers off the Road

Congress Shouldn’t Roll Back Safety; the Steps We’ve Taken Keep Tired Truckers off the Road

Improving safety and saving lives is at the heart of our mission at DOT. That's why we are committed to keeping tired truckers off the road--for their safety and the safety of others--through common sense rules backed by science, research, and data.

In 2012, thanks to our continued economic recovery and increased demand for freight shipping, there were nearly 10.7 million tractor-trailers and large trucks on the roads in the U.S., with the trucking industry experiencing unprecedented profitability this year.

But that demand has come with a price. Since 2009, we've seen an 18 percent increase in large truck crash fatalities. To put that in perspective, in one year alone, large trucks were involved in 317,000 traffic crashes resulting in an average of 75 deaths per week. That's 11 per day.

Photo collage of families torn apart by truck crashes

Fatigue is under-reported in crash accounts because drivers often don’t want to admit to being at-fault or sleepy. However, we know that driver fatigue is a leading factor in large truck crashes; in fact, analysis has shown that upward of 13 percent of commercial drivers involved in a crash were considered to have been fatigued at the time of that crash.

That’s why we have rules limiting the number of hours that train engineers and airline pilots can work, and it’s why we have a new rule for truck drivers, too. Less than one year ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put new Hours-of-Service regulations into effect to ensure that drivers have the adequate rest they need to safely operate 80,000-pound commercial vehicles on the road with other motorists.

The current Hours-of-Service rule includes common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety by reducing the maximum average work week for truckers to 70 hours from 82 hours and requiring a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shift.

We carefully considered the public safety and health risks of long work hours, and solicited input from everyone who has a stake in this important issue, including victims’ advocates, truck drivers and companies. The result is a balanced Hours-of-Service rule with analysis showing that the changes save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year. It also shows that the updated rule actually impacts less than 15 percent of the truck driving population –those drivers working the most extreme schedules.

Seems reasonable, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there’s an effort underway in Congress to suspend these important life-saving changes. To prevent this from happening, many victims are sharing their stories in support of the current Hours-of-Service rules. People like Christina and Gary Mahaney from Jackman, Maine.

Photos of devastation after logging truck crashed into house

On July 19, 2011, a tired trucker dozed off and crashed a 104,000-pound logging truck on their front lawn, spilling logs into their home and killing their 5-year-old son, Liam who was relaxing on the couch with his parents. Christina and Gary were also injured, and their home was destroyed. The Mahaneys are still struggling to find justice for the death of their son.

On August 16, 2010, a family from Cockeysville, Maryland, was devastated when the tired driver of a triple trailer truck hit five passenger vehicles and two other semis on an Ohio thruway. The first car it crashed into carried the Slattery family. Susan Slattery was killed in the crash while her two sons, Peter and Matthew, were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Matthew was left permanently disabled. He, Peter, and their father Ed relive the loss of Susan every day she is not with them.

And on September 20, 2004, near Sherman, Texas, Ron Wood’s mother, Betsy, his sister Lisa Wood Martin, and Lisa’s three young children were on their way home when a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, crossed the median into oncoming traffic, and collided with Lisa's SUV and another vehicle. After being hit by the truck, Lisa’s SUV burst into flames, making it impossible to reach the victims trapped inside.

First responders reported that it was the worst crash they had ever seen. In an instant, five members of the Wood family were gone; in all, ten people were killed and two more injured in that single crash.

I understand that long work hours can be a touchy subject, because many truckers are only paid when the wheels are rolling, not the time they spend sitting in traffic or waiting pickup or unload shipments. But these families remind all of us at the FMCSA that our work is not done until everyone on the road can make it home safely at the end of the day. And as a wife and mother of two, I am committed to preventing tragedies like those that have been shared with me.

It’s important that we continue studying the impact of fatigue on commercial drivers and public safety to make our regulations even more effective. But this we know right now: suspending the current Hours-of-Service safety rules will expose families and drivers to greater risk every time they're on the road.

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I think the DASHCAM more realistic as the legal norms, We should think more for truckers

I'm a trucker that was a student of C. R. ENGLAND. But I got all my help from a 33 year truck driver, who is my boyfriend. I finally got the year I needed to transfer to his company. Now we drive as a team. I have been driving commercially now 3 years. I haven't hit anything but a curb once in a while. I can back that trailer up. But I have to say that all the rules and regulations are getting ridiculous.

Requiring two concurrent sleep periods at a specific clock time with an unbroken off duty/sleeper berth time, then saying it can only be done once every 7 days sounds like a good idea unless you are one of those many people who have a body rhythm that is "3rd shift" and prefer to drive during that time of day and sleep during the day. I used to be somewhat like that, but over the years my sleep pattens changed. Restricting the 34 hour restart to once a week is a good idea in theory, but in practice, the two ideas together cause problems for some drivers. If I can stop at 3 in the afternoon and stay off the road for 34 hours, I am ready to drive at 1 am the second morning. If I leave when I am refreshed at 1AM so I can get past city traffic before rush hour, I am in violation and lose my restart. If I wait until 5 AM, I will hit rush hour traffic in this example. For a driver who drives all night and sleeps during the day, this makes it impossible to ever get a 34 hour reset because of the rigid time requirements that do not take into account circadian rhythms that are not the same as "normal" people.

Trucks are no different than cars, the more on the road, the more accidents. It really angers me and other drivers when rules are put into effect that are ineffective and hurt our families. The 1/2 break is the most useless rule and it in fact makes me tired! I work nights, when the electronic log forces me to take this break, I have to sit in the dark. It slows my metabolism and makes me tire. On top of all this, I drive Hazmat and get paid by the hour. On this 1/2 hour break, I do not get paid, yet rules require me to be near my load! That sounds like I should get paid. There are some real problems with this rule and I really wish you would get input from the drivers themselves. Not all of us are bad.

What this article doesn't explain is were these drivers in compliance with the current HOS rules? Too often calls for stricter HOS rules cite crashes when the drivers are not in compliance of the current rules. FMCSA should find ways to deter drivers from being out of compliance instead of making compliance more difficult with stricter HOS rules.

Why not a $2.50 per mile minimum for the driver to help keep drivers safe and the general public protected. This way drivers can start paying what they owe to banks, insurance companies, ect. The general public will never notice a difference in prices if some of the money for this is simply removed from the DOT budget.

I think the 34 hour restart should be based on the time zone where it was used. The officers are smart enough to do the math. While I log on Mountain time when I am on the east coast a reset puts me into rush hour traffic. If I could use the Eastern time zone for the reset I could be in front of rush hour and save myself considerable grief and take a larger vehicle out of the large traffic volumes.

Many commenters here point out that passenger cars cause a significant majority of crashes involving trucks, and they want FMCSA to do something about cars. But FMCSA is not legally allowed to deal with cars; that's the job of a different USDOT branch, NHTSA.

In this posting, it is stated that about 3,900 people die each year in collisions involving trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there have been more than 29,000 fatal crashes every year for the last decade, considering some of those are multi fatality, you're looking at more than six times the number of deaths in accidents that don't involve trucks. But yet there only seems to be a concern for the 3,900. It seems that the only solution to get deaths to zero, which one could assume is the goal, is to rid the roads completely of trucks. It seems you're going to do that by ridding it of drivers. As a driver, I've grown to despise this industry, as do many of my coworkers. The companies involved are deceitful, and corrupt. They steal time, they steal wages, and try to pass the buck of any shortcomings, as regulations now are, on to the drivers. What other industry works it s people fourteen hours a day? And without overtime compensation?! You're succedding on one count, this driver and my seven year clean mvr is getting out as soon as possible, and doing something else. I do have to wonder though, with trucks being the red blood cells of the American economy, what's this nation going to do when there are no more?

I wrote a long post in reply to this and then deleted it. Why? Because it doesn't matter and the DOT doesn't care.

As an ex-driver and now Safety person I do not understand all the drivers and carriers argument of the hours of service changing. Yes FMCSA added a 34 hour restart, 11 hours driving and a 14 hour work day back in 2003. Two of these were a plus to the industry (1 more hour of driving and a restart of the 70 hour rule). The 14 hour rule could be seen as more restricting as it was now from the time you started you day not just line 3 and 4 as the 15 hour rule was. However, I think most would agree it is safer. In 2013 FMCSA made the restart require two periods of 1 am to 5 am, here is the BAD change everyone is yelling about. Now I do not understand this BAD change. Is a driver required to take a restart once the reach 70 hours? NO is a driver every required to take a restart? NO can a driver and a company keep a recap like they did before 2003 and keep on working without ever taking a restart? YES This is an average of 8.75 hours a day every day of the year. So please understand there was not a BIG BAD CHANGE made by FMCSA that has made it so you cannot make a living or made it unsafe for you or made it so you have to drive in rush hour. You can and always have been able to keep running the hours of day you wish up to a total work week of 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. As for those that say FMCSA should regulate hourly pay for drivers understand FMCSA does not regulate pay that would the Labor Department if you going to try and argue you point of better pay and how the administrator or FMCSA is in the pocket of the big company understand what part of government does what first. It makes you and the great industry we all work in look bad when we don’t.

One area of HOS rules to change is the "short haul provision", which basically allows a driver who begins and end their shift at the same location to work a 12on/12off schedule WITH NO RESET PERIOD AND NO REQUIREMENT TO KEEP A LOGBOOK ! Eliminating this will ameliorate many of the problems associated with fatigue. Most crashes are caused by local & regional drivers, in day cabs, who are "covered under the "short haul" provision. Senator Collins is wrong about the 34 hr reset provision and 70 hr workweek, so is the ATA. There is solid, provable science behind the HOS as they stand, and benefit the OTR driver even if they are not so good for the company and its bottom line. The 1/2 hour off duty break is superfluous, and routinely faked. Omitting the short haul provision, USDOT & FMCSA is right with the current HOS rules, and should not yield to pressure to alter them. I am a CDL A (XT) driver, operating since 01/1996. I have worked with my own authority, in the US and Canada, have routinely worked at night, and have made a living at it while observing the HOS, as posted, in their last three forms. Speed limiters and e-logs will prove ineffective as they indirectly place the blame of non-compliance on the driver as opposed to the owners/lessors and their demands for ever growing profits.

Ms Ferro seems to be missing the point of the HOS regulations. The HOS regulations give drivers the opportunity to get adequate rest. Whether a driver actually utilizes this opportunity is up to him/her and no amount of regulation can actually force one to get adequate rest. Since we've seen an 18 percent increase in large truck crash fatalities since 2009, could one surmise that since 2009 the regulations in place started having a negative effect or would this too be a misuse of information.

Ms Ferro will you please stop making misleading and flat out false statements about fatigued truck drivers. 78% of crashes involving large trucks are caused by the small vehicle. Of the 22% that are the fault of the truck, less than 1% could be blamed on fatigue. Now, I would like to hear your comments on the accident in Villa Rica Georgia on Thursday evening. A Cadillac SUV ran into a semi truck, the two drivers in the truck were killed in the crash. What have you done during your tenure to make small vehical drivers more safe?

Ferro and the FMCSA need to start enforcing the sleep rules they have in place! Cops and DOT officers nationwide are waking up team drivers who are trying to sleep in the sleeper berth, during their 10 hour sleep break. These rogue cops must stop waking up tired truckers who are trying to follow the law. Video proof & legal docs can be found at DontWakeMeUp.org

The need for clear and concise rules that govern behavior surrounding commercial transportation can't be argued. What is often overlooked, however, in articles such as Ms. Ferro's is that crashes and the property damage, injuries and death usually don't happen because there was a lack of regulation. Crashes usually happen because of a mistake in judgment by a person or persons involved. The June 6, 2014 New Jersey crash caused by a WalMart driver didn't happen because there was a lack of good judgment regarding his own behavior. Even though there is an abundance of studies showing that fatigue can have severe detrimental effects on drivers, and that there are abundant regulations that dissuade drivers from driving while fatigued, this driver still decided to ignore the needs of his body for rest. It was not, and is not, a problem with lack of regulation but a human problem that no regulation will entirely fix. Until people see the connection between their decisions and their behavior and the effects of that behavior nothing will change. This includes everyone from drivers, to dispatchers to Presidents and CEO's. Until we all choose to be responsible for our actions nothing changes. Regulations can't do that, they can make it painful after the fact but they can't make people choose to be responsible.

I have read most of the backlash from this post and as a truck driver, a wife, daughter, mother and grandmother I thank you for making my job safer. Next priority should be e-logs and getting every truck on the road governed to no more than 70mph. Mine is governed at 65mph, that is where it was when I bought it and that is where it will stay. Again, I thank you and I support and applaud your efforts.

Since you're such a proponent of mandating YOUR choices onto other companies, I think that YOU should be required to swap out your motor for one of those ACERT CAT's that burn up... since, of course, Werner uses them, we ALL should be required to do so. Get REAL!

Since you're such a proponent of mandating YOUR choices onto other companies, I think that YOU should be required to swap out your motor for one of those ACERT CAT's that burn up... since, of course, Werner uses them, we ALL should be required to do so. Get REAL!

Congress shouldn't listen to someone who has no clue what it is to be a truck driver.

dear Anne Ferro out of all of those truck accidents that you stated.How many of them were the truckers fault? You say that you are for safer highways but I don't think so. You regulators by the hour but yet were paid by the mile. In the trucking industry we don't get paid unless the truck is moving you said so yourself. Why don't you regulate an hourly pay for the truck driver. or Classifieds truck drivers at skilled labor. It seems to me that the FMCSA believe that anyone can drive one of these trucks safely. I would like to see in your research how many of those accidents where it was the truck drivers fault how many of those truck drivers were 1st or 2nd gear drivers? If you classified as a skilled labor and new drivers have to go into an apprenticeship program I bet that's the number of accidents was drastically decrease. But you won't do that because you think the cost would be way too high and corporations have you in their pocket.so there you are putting a price on life because it cost to much you won't do it. How much is one of these peoples lives worth that have died.ask their families it bit him an apprenticeship program would be an appropriate one.right now in 2 weeks somebody can get a CDL and be driving a truck down the highway. if it were an apprenticeship program it would take at least a year maybe two.but again that would cost too much and by not making an apprenticeship program this is farro you are putting out a price on life.

Hey Anne why don't we address that 80% of those crashes were caused by the car involvled. Why do you cite the most extreme cases 106000 lb truck?Triple trailers? DId the truckers survive those wrecks to tel their side? Did they have a heart attack or something that incapacitated them prior to the wreck? Do you know? Lot of fear mongering here Anne and I for one as a 19 year veteran of this industry do not appreciate it. We know what goes on out here and we also know the way the HOS is set up is one of the root causes of driver fatigue. You haven't given any leeway towards common sense thinking. Makes sense since you are just a suit who might know the workings of the industry from your perspective but when you get to where the rubber meets the road you know nothing.

Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you have proven statistics showing that the number of accidents have been reduced since the hours of service rule changes? If so, and the number of accidents have been dramatically reduced then it should be easy for congress to decide what is best for our highways. But if the results show no changes in frequency or severity of accidents then perhaps the changes should be put on hold until further review. These rules are hurting our economy in other ways.

The most amount of sleep that I ever got when I was tired over the 30 years that I drove semis (1979-2009) was the original 11/14 HOS rule revision when the split sleeper break was still legal. With the original split sleeper break I could work all day making deliveries in Chicago or Detroit then take a nap from 4-7 PM, and miss evening rush hour and all of its less than productive high-stress operating environment, and then I could still get in several hours of road driving after my nap when the highways were less-crowded and feel safe and alert-enough to operate. I would then sleep from 11-6 and do it again the next day. I can't believe that the FMCSA finds it safer to force 10 million truckers tired after working all day to fight it out in afternoon rush hour with all of the tired day-shift workers heading home and all of the soccer moms in huge rush themselves who together clog up our nation's highways every afternoon. The least amount of sleep that I ever got when I was tired was any HOS rule after the split sleeper break was eliminated. I will agree with FMCSA policy that the intent of the restart provision probably was not to increase total possible driving hours above the 70-hour in 8-day limit that had been in-effect under the previous 10/15 rule but this illustrates unintended new policy consequence. Today another unintended consequence of new policy forces more truckers to be on the highway outside of the 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM time frame, which is a tough time of day for those of us on a daytime schedule but a normal time of day for those of us on a night schedule, many of whom have operated safely at that time of night for many years. Could this unintended policy consequence also cause more congestion-type accidents trying to prevent fatigue-type accidents? Many years ago the safety of the trucking industry was judged on a fatalities per 100 million miles operated by the industry standard, and between 1979 and the mid-1990s that standard had improved by 55%. Alas, as our economy and nation has grown, there are approximately twice as many trucks on the highway as in 1979, running more mileage average per truck due to higher speed limits than in 1979 when the entire nation was subject to the 55 mph national speed limit then in-effect. In 1979, the worst year in US history for truck accident fatalities, there were 6,702 fatalities (US-DOT) among the 5.89 million heavy trucks in operation that year, which ran 109 billion miles. By 1995, the sheer number of fatalities had been reduced to 4,903, despite the fact that the number of heavy trucks was up by 16.9% and miles operated was up by 59% due in-part to the increase in speed limit from 55 mph to 65, 70, or even to 75 mph in many States. During the same 1979-1995 time frame passenger car registration increased by 21% and light truck and van registrations more than doubled, Passenger car mileage was up by 34.8% and light truck and van mileage was up by 227%. Also according to this report, the largest single-cause improvement to truck fatalities were the national recessions in 1979-1980, 1981-1983, and 1990-1991, as well as the oil patch recession in 1985-1986. (Data from Trends in Large Truck Crashes, US-DOT HS 808-890, www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809-690.PDF) Fast forward to today and according to FMCSA Secretary Ferro's letter to Congress there are 10.7 million heavy trucks on the road today now five years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, and yet using her own figure of 11 heavy truck fatalities per day, there were 4015 truck accident fatalities in 2013. If the mileage operated per registered heavy truck was the same as in 1995, and there has been a 55.5% increase in heavy truck registrations since 1995, or an 81.6% increase since 1979. (I would argue that due to State speed limit increases since 1995 that individual vehicle miles would have increased by at least 15-20% since 1995 too). So sheer heavy truck fatalities are down from 6,702 in 1979 to 4,015 today despite an 81.6% increase in the number of registered heavy trucks and a per-registered vehicle mileage increase of approximately 72-75% over the same period. Secretary Ferro fails in her alarmist assessment to Congress to mention the fact that the largest single cause decrease in trucking industry sheer fatalities is national recession, and even after the alleged 13% increase in heavy truck fatalities between 2009 and 2013, due entirely to economic recovery since 2009, the industry as a whole today is operating 81.6% more trucks than in 1979, 284% more mileage than in 1979*, at a 40% reduction in sheer fatalities since 1979. and a 79% reduction in the key fatalities per hundred million miles traveled statistic previously used by the US-DOT to measure the industry's safety by. * Including an estimated 15% increase in total heavy truck vehicle miles traveled since 1995. It sounds to me like Secretary Ferro should be profuse in her appreciation for a job well done by the industry in improving safety rather than trying to alarm anyone as there is no problem to report when we use a full statistical set rather than an unfair cherry-picked statistic without stating what context it came from and why sheer trucking industry fatalities are down during recessions. It also sounds to me that perhaps Secretary Ferro is trying to justify her budget and/or a budgetary increase by using a cheery-picked statistic that shows something other than the truth about heavy truck safety, and I also have to wonder by how much Secretary Ferro's cherry-picked irresponsible statistic has inflamed motorist tensions and the incidence of car on truck road rage too?

Yanking the split sleeper berth provision was the most dangerous regulation change the feds ever made.

Jim Johnston is full of it and will do anything or say anything to get publicity so OOIDA can make more money. I can believe that the trucking industry as a whole buys their load of crap as it's simple mob mentality. OOIDA advocates they exist to protect the rights of truckers but I personally believe they are more concerned with the money they make on selling insurance as well as other services they offer. I read your blog post as you know and did not deduct that you had a “extreme bias against the trucking industry and truckers in general”. In fact if anything you have their best interest in mind and are walking a balance beam to protect the public which must come first. Sure the HOS regulations need to be tweaked but it's close to being perfect. OOIDA is not competent nor qualified enough to do anything more than they do which is selling insurance policies and preaching their same old line of pseudo evangelism which my industry has swallowed hook line and sinker and plugging up our system with stuff like this latest stunt which is only a ploy for more popularity since the issue at hand is popular. I think OOIDA is not qualified to pass judgement on anything/anyone concerning HOS due to the amount of data and research that has had to take place to get us where we are today. They clearly do not comprehend the extent of this or they would take a more proactive approach to this and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. I was shocked to read his statement to Anthony Foxx. Hang in there and keep doing the great job you are and ignore this latest round of self promotion. Best, Michael Rader WideloadShipping.com m.rader@wideloadshipping.com

Since when can anyone understand a situation until you have been in ones' shoes. In order to due justice to this dept. we need experience talking for us, not a pencil pusher. This industry needs a Jimmy Hoffa back to support the weaklings in it. All I hear here is kiss, kiss!!!!!!!!!

Truckers can be at fault, but what about the cars out there that cause the accidents...who regulates them???? They speed past a truck just to pull in front of them to either slow back down or just to get off the interstate!!!! My husband witnessed just this last week (hes a trucker) a mini van came speeding past him and another trucker pulled in front of that trucker to get off the exit...except she clipped the semi and rolled. Of course she blamed the trucker "He to hit me"...my husband stopped to help and was a witness of what really happened. By the way her child in a car seat wasnt even seat belted down so she killed her own child...not the trucker! There are all these rules truckers have to follow, what about the cars???? They screw with truckers all the time. And lets talk about cell phone use, truckers have a stiff fine in found on their phones, but the damn cars out there texting. Our friend driving a truck was going slow due to construction and a car came flying by pulled in front of him and jammed on the breaks....sorry but an 80,000 lb truck cant stop on a dime, he hit the car. We are going to buy a dash cam just to protect our family!!! And by the way, why dont you mention the drivers of cars falling asleep and wrecking truckers. Dont state half the story, MOST accidents involving truckers are due to the family driver! And also how did you get your stuffy office furniture, computers, your home, car, clothes on your back, and the food you eat....from a trucker!!!!!!!! Protect them from the family driver, they are the ones who dont have regulations! I worry about my husband everyday, not because of the hours, but because of cars, take a look at truckers dash cams on you tube. Cars pulling in front of them, cutting them off, trucks wide turns and they cars try to sneak through, not to mention those family drivers that hang out in the blind spots. You need to spend a week in a truckers life to be educated in real life. For every bad trucker theres at least 30 bad car drivers out there!!!!

I salute you. I believe that when you apply for your driver license, the Dept. of Transportation should have a section in the testing to help the family driver understand how he or she needs to share the highway with the truckers. The average family driver doesn't understand the does and don'ts of the highway and how to handle semis with trailers. With our industry of trucking changing so much, I think that the 4 wheelers should have to comply like the truckers, because I have seen individuals driving cars, etc. that were putting makeup on, reading news papers, doing extra curricular actives and of course talking on the phone or texting. Also I believe that every vehicle that is driven should under go yearly inspection just like our trucks, because you wouldn't believe what we see out there. Let's have a fair playing field.

I am afraid that sharing the road with tired truck drivers would be frighting me and my family. I don't believe that Senator Collins cares about individuals and families rights to travel safely. She is a horrible senator.

But we have to share the road with you when your tired, texting, applying your make up, eating your ceral, reading your morning paper....

On paper it's all well and good, but the experience I have watching driver's. The more time out of their trucks isn't being used for rest.The game rooms are filled, tv room in truck stop is filled, and you have some drivers polishing their trucks. Where is the sleep coming in? I don't have a TV in my truck as I might be watching instead of sleeping. For the same reason if I have a student driver he may not be sleeping when he needs to. Myself I felt I had more rest when we had the ability of the split sleeper. The 8 hour is fine and 2 more hrs for the split doesn't make sence when that 2 hrs can be off duty, not sleeping Accidents are going to happen especially when drivers of cars and pick up trucks don't have any respect for the large trucks they are running with. They don't know how to merge into traffic and what's worse is no lights on in the rain and fog. They can s mm see so they assume people can also see them You want to make it safer, teach the public to drive in traffic better. To many cars are on interstate highways that are unsafe, auto and driver.

This is just a cover up for the mistake of the 14 hour rule that was implemented years back.Try going back to the 15 hour rule and and watch and see how drivers have more time to relax,eat something that is not in a hurry meal,and would be able to enjoy taking a nap when needded and not be worried about meeting 14 hour time frame.I am a 15 year driver.Theres already weigh stations,spot inspections,electronics logs,and company regulations to help safety procedures.Thank you

Ms. Ferro, While I agree that we need to have rules for safety and to prevent fatigued driving, I feel s lot of fatigued driving to be a result of the new hours of service. As a trucker, I have to weigh the choice of taking a nap or keep driving because I know my 14 hour click IA still ticking. If I work, not drive, for the hours in the morning and then I need to drive 10 hours after that to get to my next appointment, there is no time to take a nap. So therefore, I drive fatigued. At least allow us drivers to stop the 14 hour clock for a hour nap just like you allow it to be stopped for an 8 hour break. Thank you.

Making our roads and highways accident free would be awesome. Unfortunately, it's nothing but a fantasy and unsafe drivers from both cars and trucks will continue to happen no matter how many regulations you throw on the trucking industry. What FMCSA won't share with the public is the fatal crashes that are caused by cars that even took the lives of truckers. March 28, 2008, Chicopee MA, a car ran a diesel tanker truck off the road on I-91 northbound. Truck exploded and the driver was engulfed in flames. He managed to barely get out but unfortunately he died later that night. The driver of the car was charged with vehicle homocide, and at his trial, admitted that his car had failed inspection. He also admitted that he was stalling out when he ran the truck off the road. The verdect...NOT GUILTY...I wonder how the family of the deceased tanker driver reacted when they watched this guy on trial litterly get away with murder. That was one of many stories I have and it's a story you won't hear from Anne Ferro because she is too busy downgrading the image of the trucking industry with only these few stories out of thousands. She also won't tell you that 70% of truck-related accidents are caused by cars. Instead, she would rather solve a problem by adding a bigger problem to the industry and she'll tell you how these truck-related crashes is always the neglagence of the driver. Anne Ferro, you and the FMCSA need to back off. You're spreading propaganda to the public on how your data driven organization cares about nothing but safety and yet your rule making process is what makes the trucking industry an unsafe industry. The reason why the HOS are being rolled back is because of the complaints made by the drivers. It isn't just one driver, it's the majority of the trucking industry. Maybe you should take the time to listen to the drivers instead of forcing a "one size fits all" rule.

Perhaps you should start with the motoring public and get them to stop texting and talking on hand held phones. Then, you may have an even playing field.

So-This is the blog that has OOIDA up in arms? I have no problem with it.

Until you address the other people of the industry, IE:shippers, receivers, brokers ET AL you are only ascerbating the problems. When those controlling the appointments do not have a legal responsibility to follow the HOS, drivers will continue to be put in situations that cause fatigue. Appointments set during breaks, inadequate parking, and a general disregard for driver circumstances are all out of the drivers control, but directly cause conflict between the job and the rules.

with your new rules I am more tired now than ever and I have over 40 accident free years and 4million miles driven !

Gary, You're right. OOIDA and their relationship with the trucking industry has run its course. They're reduced to jumping on issues like this one as a promotional tactic. Look at the cases they have filed in the name of justice for truckers. They needed to be filed not doubt. However, these are all slam dunk cases. Selectively filing suits you know you are going to win and using them as a badge to scream "truckers rights" is one heck of a smart business decision but damaging in the long run. This blog post didn't even come close to the accusations of having a “clear bias against truckers and the trucking industry” nor indicate that Anne is incompetent so the FMCSA “can no longer perform its regulatory and enforcement duties impartially.” Due to this last round of reform with HOS and the breaks being all screwed up Anne may not be the most popular gal on the hill but to suggest that she is not performing her duties and needs to be fired from her job solely based on a single blog comment with accusations that have no foundation is just not right. She didn't get this far in the administration setting on her ass. I have to believe she is doing everything humanly possible going above and beyond her duties which means she is our ally. We need to work closely with her and be supportive. I think it is time for the torch to be passed. I think our truck drivers need real representation on real issues. They need someone that will roll their sleeves up and go to work with individual government employees. Someone that will really and truly help the little guy and spend proceeds attacking cases (not individuals) that are much harder than simple breach of contract cases or filing a petition for review. OOIDA needs new blood and younger people with determination. This bunch of old fogies don't seem to care for the individual or the future of our industry. Truckers might be many things but they clearly aren't the stereotype of the past. And when they get a good whiff of what is really going on at OOIDA they will feel betrayed. It will take years for that to heal up my friends. Best, Michael Rader WideloadShipping.com

Actually what the DOT did was remove a drivers ability to take a nap when they feel tired. Forced them to not be able to take additional 34 hour breaks in the same week. Bot of those things were crucial to drivers. Now they are forced to run non-stop, unable to take the much needed meal breaks, showers when needed, etc.etc.etc. Your data, which I have read in detail (Director of Safety for my company) is based on a small swatch of the millions of drivers who are actually on the road. You figures you are trying to politic with the public up there does not show WHO was at fault out of all those crashes. Does not address the overwhelming at fault of four wheelers when factored into these crashes. Leave the politics to politicians Anne! You're acting like Obama right now... Not very transparent and making things up as you go with out proper analysis!

How come it is never mentioned that people in regular cars cause most of the accidents that truckers get in because they cut them off, they try to squeeze around them, they get it front and slow down right away, they don't understand the drivers blindspot, etc. They are also tired, texting, eating, talking, and don't have to maintain their vehicles like truckers do. How come their responsibility to safety is never mentioned or an issue. Everybody is going to be sorry when truckers get out of the business because of all the rules and regulations forced on them, by people that know nothing of the trucking industry, like Ferro who has never driven a truck and only road in one for 1 day and nite and didn't get enough of an experience of what truckers go thru. When everything you need to buy that is supplied by truckers goes up in price, don't wander why.

I have children & grandchildren out on the road also at times i'm more worried about the 4 wheeler out there because they work long hrs at their job & they go doing other things after work & can be just as tired as a truck driver. If 4 wheeler is cause of an accident & the truck was there it seems like its still the trucks fault, it goes against them in the CSA which is not right. Lets make the 4 wheelers at fault just as much as a truck driver is not always the truck drivers fault

Why don't you tell the whole story like 88% of Car verses truck crashes are the fault of the car driver. I am truly sorry for the families' of those crashes and there are bad truck drivers out there just like bad cops, doctors, pilots, and politicians. But you are trying to make one size fit all and it can't be done. Your studies are flawed. I have been a truck driver for over 30 years and an owner operator for the last 20 years with my own authority. I have never had a crash, been put out of service or had any problems with the DOT. Most of us follow the rules and do the right thing. All your doing is making the public dislike us more with your one sided story's .

Tell me again what the percentage is of truck vs car accidents that are caused by the driver of the car!? Ya...i thought so.

When is the Government going to take responsibly for the mess they have create. The increase in accident is because of the flood of inexperience drivers. These drivers come from Government sponsored truck driving schools and trucking companies. Most of them have no true understanding of the responsibility of handling a vehicle of this size. Yet the Government continues to fund this program. This isn't McDonalds. Stop trying it like it is.

What administrator ferro forgot to mention is that 80+% of the truck related crashes were not I repeat NOT the truck drivers fault. So please administrator let everyone know the real facts . As a truck driver I've heard you talk about safety but you say you heard from us but feels like the FMCSA doesn't listen. The FMCSA needs to realize that data that might look good on paper sometimes will and won't work in reality. ....

If you are truly concerned about highway safety do something about the horrid conditions of the highways, the cars texting while driving, the COPS texting while driving, the stupidity of left exit and entrance ramps on highways, the cars tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, exits from the far left lanes at the last possible minute, the driving training programs (for cars and trucks alike) that are just in it for the money and fail to adequately train drivers, etc, etc, etc. There's more going on out there than just trucks. I've been at this 33 years, driven in 8 countries and accident free. And I can tell you that all of these new restrictions on trucks are not going to fix even half of the problems. We need through lanes for trucks in the cities instead of barely used HOV lanes to reduce rush hour congestion. We need bypasses that cannot be re-cluttered with shopping malls and restaurants. We need cell phone texting to be automatically disabled if the phone is moving over 5 mph. These things will make a positive impact without punishing anyone.

What the new rules are doing is making drivers have to drive harder and faster to make up the time the new rules aren't making it safer driver need to be able to to their 14 hour clock when at the shippers so they don't have to try and make up the time that they are loosing.

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