The COVID-19 pandemic has created a tidal wave of regulatory changes in the trucking industry that are intended to help carriers meet the demands of the supply chain amidst increasing public health restraints.

One responsibility carriers have is to ensure their drivers stay in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements. These requirements cover everything from licensing to health screening to vehicle maintenance. But what do drivers and carriers do when they are unable to meet these requirements because the necessary service providers are closed or unable to book appointments?


Continue Reading Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements for Carriers Modified in Face of COVID-19 Pandemic

Across the country, Americans are feeling the effects of scarcity as anxious buyers snatch up large quantities of household essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and dry goods. This has caused rising concern not just among consumers, but also among pharmacies and medical providers who are struggling to keep up with the very real and serious needs of the critically ill.

To alleviate the pressure of empty shelves and supply cabinets, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a national emergency declaration on March 13 to help ensure that supplies are delivered quickly so stores and clinics can be restocked.


Continue Reading FMCSA Lifts Hours-Of-Service Requirements to Aid Essential Goods Delivery

Although it had planned to institute universal training standards for entry-level truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it will be delaying the training requirements for two years.

The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) guidelines were intended to take effect on February 7, 2020, but the compliance date has been pushed back to February 7, 2022. According to the FMCSA, the delay will help establish important IT infrastructure that will act as a registry of compliant programs. However, the delay will also result in a continuance of under-trained entry-level truck drivers on the road, creating risk for travelers.


Continue Reading Training Delays for Entry-Level Truck Drivers Poses Risks

A total of 4,102 people died in truck crashes in 2017, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).[1] The majority of those people (82 percent) were occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists.[2] The most common fatal injury in trucking accidents is being crushed by falling in the exposed space between the front and rear wheels of a truck.[3] According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck crashes are more likely to be side impact crashes.[4] In fact, between 2005 and 2009, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists in the U.S. were killed after side-impacts with trucks.[5]

Lives can be saved by implementing measures to help prevent side-impacts with trucks. One such measure is the installation of side guards on trucks with high ground clearance. A number of studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, and the Netherlands show that side guards dramatically decrease the number of fatalities in trucking accidents.[6] After truck side guards were mandated in the U.K., cyclist fatalities dropped 61 percent and pedestrian fatalities dropped 20 percent for side-impact accidents.[7]


Continue Reading U.S. Slow to Require Side Underride Guards on Trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released their annual Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) numberson October 3rd 2018, which shows that roadway fatalities were down 2 percent year-over-year in 2017. In spite of this, the NHTSA warned that this decrease did not necessarily indicate “an across-the-board trend.”

Continue Reading National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Releases Annual Fatality Analysis Reporting System Numbers

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has submitted comments in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking for hours-of-service (HOS) for commercial truck drivers. The rulemaking process was first announced at the end of August 2018, when the FMCSA declared that they would be reviewing the existing HOS regulations which limit the total operating hours a commercial truck driver works on duty.

Continue Reading American Association for Justice Sends FMCSA Comments in Response to Hours of Service Proposed Rule

According to the U.S. federal government statistics, over 4,300 people have been killed in crashes involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks in 2016, which is a 28 percent increase over 2009. Fatal truck crashes are growing at almost three times the rate of deadly crashes overall in the U.S. For years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has supported life-saving legislation that would require all heavy trucks to be equipped with crash-avoidance technology.

Continue Reading National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Slow to Make Changes as Deadly Truck Crashes Increase

A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that truck safety technologies can prevent as many as 77,077 crashes, 23,275 injuries, and the loss of 500 lives per year. The report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, examined the safety benefits and costs of installing four advanced safety technologies in existing and new large trucks.

Continue Reading Truck Safety Technology Can Prevent Thousands of Crashes Every Year

A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that truck safety technologies can prevent as many as 77,077 crashes, 23,275 injuries, and the loss of 500 lives per year. The report, Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains, examined the safety benefits and costs of installing four advanced safety technologies in existing and new large trucks.

In 2015, large trucks were involved in more than 400,000 crashes that resulted in more than 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries.

AAA Report Illustrates Potential Impact of Individual Safety Technologies

AAA recommends that all large trucks – those already on the road as well as new trucks – be equipped with cost effective technologies that improve safety on the road.


Continue Reading Truck Safety Technology Can Prevent Thousands of Crashes Every Year

Highway fatalities are climbing and the nation’s roads and bridges are deteriorating at a fast pace; nonetheless the trucking industry is again asking Congress to permit a new generation of heavier trucks. The higher weight limit is supported in part by the trucking industry and by shippers who would benefit from moving heavier loads.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015,” 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, an eight-percent increase from 2014.

Truck driver fatigue, speeding, and the difficulty of stopping a heavy vehicle all contribute to the disproportionate involvement of trucks in crashes. Many fatal truck crashes involve rear-end collisions. These crashes are usually caused when trucks come up on stalled vehicles.


Continue Reading Bigger Trucks? Bigger Danger.