Trucking association: Feds manipulated HOS fatigue factor

January 19, 2011

Arlington, VA – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration "misapplied its own crash numbers" to elevate driver fatigue as a cause of commercial motor vehicle crashes and rationalize its proposed rule (.pdf file) on driver hours of service, the American Trucking Associations alleges.

In a press release, ATA President Bill Graves said the estimated percentage of fatigue-related crashes was inflated and the percentage of single-vehicle truck crashes is overstated compared with multivehicle crashes. Graves also questioned the treatment of fatigue as an "associated factor" in fatigue-caused crashes, saying it conflicted with prior research methods and FMCSA's report to Congress.

FMCSA agreed to review and possibly revise HOS as part of a settlement agreement (.pdf file) made in October 2009. The agreement did not include any guidance, direction or restrictions on the scope and content of the proposed rule or make any commitments on the outcome of the notice-and-comment rulemaking process. FMCSA is required to issue a final rule on HOS by summer 2011. The deadline for public comment on the proposed rule is Feb. 28.