Trucking Research/studies Hours of service

Truck crashes increased after restart rule, ATRI claims

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Arlington, VA – A statistically significant increase in commercial truck crashes occurred following the implementation of a 34-hour restart provision in the federal hours-of-service rule, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.

ATRI on April 29 released the results of its latest analysis on the restart provision, which Congress suspended in December pending further research. The organization, which is the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, analyzed crash data and truck driving patterns before and after the restart provision was implemented in July 2013.

Tow-away crashes increased 13 percent in the first year of the restart rule, researchers said. They tallied 70,461 crashes from July 2012 to July 2013, compared with 79,629 crashes one year later.

In a press release, ATRI Research Advisory Committee member Dean Newell said the study indicated that the restart rule has had a negative effect on safety.

“After many years of crash decreases, everyone knows our industry has experienced an uptick in crashes,” said Newell, who also is vice president of safety for North Little Rock, AR-based carrier Maverick USA. “This latest analysis from ATRI validates both changes in operations and crash risk that seems to be associated with the restart rule. Regulations should serve to improve safety, not create additional safety risks.”