June 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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leading news, trucking market conditions and industry analysis A proposed rule would amend the medical qualification standards to allow drivers with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce without seeking an exemption. The proposed rule would allow individuals with ITDM to obtain a medical examiner's certificate at least once a year as long as the dia- betes is stable and well-controlled. Under the current regulations, a driver with ITDM must obtain an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which must be renewed at least every two years. FMCSA believes the proposed procedure will "adequately ensure that drivers with ITDM manage the condition so that it is stable and well-controlled, and that such a regulatory provision creates a clearer, equally effective and more consistent framework" than the previous regulations. To comment on the rule, go to and search Docket No. FMCSA-2005-23151. – James Jaillet T he number of truck-involved crashes and subsequent inju- ries and tow-aways increased during the year and a half that the more restrictive 2013 hours-of- service rule was in effect, according to an American Transportation Research Institute study. The catalyst for the increase in crashes, ATRI says in its report, was a shift in working hours by truck operators, who in response to the changes in the use of the 34-hour restart provision oper- ated more in the traffic-heavy daytime hours rather than at nights and early mornings. The 2013 rule required that a driv- er's 34-hour weekly restart, if taken, include two 1-5 a.m. periods. It also limited restart use to once per seven days. "The July 1, 2013, restart rule did, in fact, have the out- come intended by FMCSA – the shift of truck trips from nighttime driving to daytime driving," ATRI writes in its report. "However, the unintended con- sequence of higher numbers of crashes at other points in the driving schedule also appears to have occurred." ATRI analyzed an extensive truck GPS database to identify changes in truck travel by time of day and day of the week after the July 1, 2013, change to the restart. ATRI also examined several years of pre- and post-July 1, 2013, fed- eral truck crash data to quantify safety impacts. "After many years of crash decreases, everyone knows our industry has expe- rienced an uptick in crashes," said Dean Newell, vice president of safety for North Little Rock, Ark.-based Maverick and a member of ATRI's Research Advisory Committee. "This latest analysis from ATRI validates both changes in opera- tions and crash risk that seem to be associated with the restart rule. Regulations should serve to improve safety, not create additional safety risks." The identified shift in truck traffic from the weekends and evenings was most pronounced on Sunday night, a low-traffic low- exposure period. Statistically significant increases in truck crashes were confined to injury and tow-away crashes, and not fatality events. ATRI controlled for overall economic improvement and its effects on crash statistics by using traffic percentage change and tonnage growth percent- ages over the two-year period. – Todd Dills Scan the QR code with your smartphone or visit letters to sign up for the CCJ Daily Report, a daily e-mail newsletter filled with news, analy- sis, blogs and market condition articles. commercial carrier journal | june 2015 11 Proposal would amend medical qualifications for diabetic drivers Study: 2013 hours rule increased crashes, hurt safety The catalyst for the increase in crashes, ATRI says in its report, was a shift in working hours by truck operators.

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