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Safety study to stop easing of Hours of Service rules said to be flawed

FEDERAL regulators and the insurer lobby, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), have clashed on interpretation of crash data, reports New York's FreightWaves

Safety study to stop easing of Hours of Service rules said to be flawed

FEDERAL regulators and the insurer lobby, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), have clashed on interpretation of crash data, reports New York's FreightWaves

12 September 2019 - 19:00

FEDERAL regulators and the insurer lobby, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), have clashed on interpretation of crash data, reports New York's FreightWaves.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering easing Hours of Service rest requirements for short-haul drivers, a move resisted by the IIHS safety lobby.



'Driver fatigue is a major risk factor in large truck crashes,' said IIHS statistician Eric Teoh. 'Creating more exceptions to the Hours of Service limits, which already allow drivers to log long hours, isn't likely to improve safety and may well cause harm.'



IIHS cited a study in which IIHS and University of North Carolina researchers found that drivers using a short-haul exception 'had a crash risk nearly five times as high' as those not using the exception.



But FMCSA's review of the study found that it was 'based on a very small sample size' that was not nationally representative and prevented the researchers from properly estimating the results.



'Further, the authors noted that other related factors unobserved in the study may have led to this result. For example, it is possible that older or more poorly maintained trucks are used in local operations,' said the FMCSA.


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