New Study Introduced by the FMCSA

BY Alie McArdle
7 months ago

 

Let’s get serious and down with the facts on this one, there’s a lot to unpack.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced they plan to investigate why, in the past 3 years (since 2016) fatal crashes involving a semi-truck have increased – by 5.7%.

In their study, titled Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study, they have three major goals in mind:

  1. Evaluate crashes involving large trucks and identify emerging trends.
  2. Monitor causes and contributing factors.
  3. Develop effective safety improvement policies and programs. 

The FMCSA also stated that they will allow for public comment for 60 days after publication, but I think they should look into what the drivers have to say before AND after the study. Get a feel for what those in the situations are concerned, or already know what factors could be coming into play; because for some, they blame implementations the FMCSA have put into place. 

A few redditors took to r/truckers and discussed this. Here are some comments that stood out to me:

“they’ll blame training requirements and the solution will be more of their [FMCSA] ideas.”

“like so many have said before, the HOS/eLogs were meant to decrease sleepy driving, but the side effect is that they increase aggressive driving.”

Gee who would have guessed that putting a clock on the dashboard counting down would cause drivers to be more reckless…”

[in response to the idea of eLogs causing the spike]

“Absolutely, drove for a week with paper bc my eld when down; the most relaxed week I had ever had, still kept it legal but I was much less worried about my time. Also now that I’m in a Truck without a govern I notice that I also stick to the speed limit a lot more this may just be me but if they do go through with nationwide govern I’m head off bc I feel like it’ll get worse out there.”

“I drive with an Elog (corporate box truck and time constraints) and my driving is more relaxed as I don’t have the stress of the paper log being wrong.

I do agree that many drivers are being more aggressive due to unreal constraints put upon them by their companies.

Will be interesting to see if some of the governed trucks get adjustments and non governed trucks get their companies to actually allow for issues on the road aka accidents, weather, and break downs being built into the trip.”

There are some mixed emotions surrounding the study, and what truck drivers feel is the cause. But, as cdllife pointed out in their article, <https://cdllife.com/2020/with-truck-fatalities-on-the-rise-fmcsa-to-study-cause-of-deadly-semi-crashes/?amp[/url]>

“During a similar study conducted by the FMCSA in 2001 — 2003, the FMCSA said that ‘a primary finding of the study was that in the vast majority of crashes where the critical reason for the crash was assigned to the large truck, it was attributed to a driver-related action or 

inaction.’”

With the increasing changes in hours of service, truck regulation, eLog mandates, who knows if the results will draw the same conclusion. (It seems common sense that most accidents in everyday life are caused by driver action or inaction…) But as I have not seen the study, I can’t determine why that was how they determined causation in the early 2000’s.

What do you think will be the conclusion this go around? Do you agree or disagree with the above comments? Let us know!