Are HOS Regulations Overkill For Truck Drivers?
Many drivers will be quick to say that they feel uneasy about sharing the road with large trucks. Even if the drivers who pilot the rigs have the licensing, experience, and schooling necessary to keep their truck under control, the margin for error is small given the dimension of these vehicles. In addition to this, a trucking accident isn’t the same as a car accident – these massive rigs can do serious damage if a driver loses control. This makes it all the more important that drivers stay awake and attentive while behind the wheel. Hours of Service (HOS) regulations were designed to help combat this issue – but are they overly intrusive and damaging to a trucker’s ability to make good money without spending too much time away from home?
The Purpose of HOS Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed the HOS Regulation in response to the role driver fatigue has played in traffic accidents. While accidents can occur due to weather, faulty parts, or a number of other issues, drivers falling asleep at the wheel played a part in about 10 percent of highway fatalities. However, not all of these fatalities involved large trucks. While the HOS regulation is designed to make sure drivers are adequately rested before taking to the road, many drivers have said that the rule is cumbersome and unfair. Not only does it affect a driver’s ability to make money, but it can artificially increase the length of their journey.
Why Truckers Are Unhappy with the Regulation
Truckers want to finish their route and get back to their families – that’s common knowledge, and many drivers say this regulation has impeded their ability to make money and get home to their loved ones in a reasonable time frame. Even if a driver feels alert and ready to continue their journey, they would be required to pull off the road in order to comply with this regulation. Many drivers see this as unnecessary, and trucking companies also see it as a potential financial concern. This could increase operating costs and hinder business in the long run.
Has the HOS Regulation Been Effective?
The effects of the HOS regulation are admittedly hard to measure, but time will tell if the newly updated rules will reduce traffic accidents involving trucks by a significant margin. While responsible truckers and trucking companies want to remain safe, the general view in the industry is that these regulations are more of a hindrance than a help to truckers trying to make money and get back home.