New Driving Rules to Combat Fatigue
On July 1, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) implemented new rules designed to address fatigue of delivery drivers. The new rules reduce the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work from 82 hours a week to 70 hours and mandates a 34-hour restart requirement. However, the daily driving limit remains at 11 hours. Drivers found to have exceeded the maximum driving limits would be taken off the road and their company subject to fines.
Though hard to accurately quantify fatigue levels and isolate their impact on injuries and accidents, some research studies have shown that when workers get fewer than five hours of sleep or are awake for more than 16 hours, the likelihood of fatigue-related accidents increase significantly.
The Truck Carriers Association has strongly opposed the new requirements, claiming productivity would decrease by 4%-6% and would negatively impact carriers’ flexibility, which has been its advantage over other shipping modes.
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