Friday, April 23, 2010

Truck Driver Fatigue - ATA Wants Action Now To Reduce Accidents

Association Demands Action from Federal Motors Safety Officials
Shipping News Feature

US – This week the American Trucking Associations (ATA) relayed the concerns of the majority of their members about truck related accidents and asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to focus more of its efforts on a variety of measures which the ATA’s own safety forum believe could drastically reduce the number of injuries and fatalities which occur during the haulage of interstate freight shipments.

Extensive federal data shows that trucking industry safety performance has improved substantially since 2004, when the basic framework for the current drivers Hours Of Service regulations took effect. The most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) indicate that the truck-involved fatality rate declined 12.3 percent in 2008 to 1.86 per 100 million miles, from 2.12 per 100 million miles in 2007. This decline marks the largest year-to-year drop ever and the fifth consecutive year the fatality rate has dropped. Persons injured in large truck crashes went from 44.4 per 100 million miles to 39.6, an 11 percent reduction.

Since 2004, the number of large truck crash injuries per 100 million miles has dropped 25 percent and the truck-involved fatality rate has dropped 22 percent. The fatality rate has dropped 66 percent since the DOT began keeping those records in 1975 and is now at its historical low.

Despite these encouraging developments the trucking group feel that certain adjustments to the status quo would result in even better results. They suggest the FMCSA focus on:

(1) sleep disorder awareness, training and screening;

(2) promoting the use of fatigue risk management programs;

(3) evaluating the use of fatigue detection devices;

(4) increasing the availability of truck parking on important freight corridors, and;

(5) partnering with the trucking and shipping communities to develop an educational process that identifies for drivers the location of available truck parking.

Sleep disorder awareness and sleep apnoea is the subject of the Black Pig Blog today and anyone who has a query about this condition is advised to check it out.

The ATA’s comments are in response to questions posed to participants during the five public listening sessions held around the country which we reported on at the time and the request comes as FMCSA again considers HOS changes requested by special interest groups.