For a while now, the trucking industry has been pushing for a continuation of the current Hours of Service for truck drivers, which currently allows drivers to operate a rig for 11 consecutive hours. The reasoning is that these work hours have contributed to a decline in the number of people being killed in truck accident deaths every year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has shot down that argument. According to the federal agency chief, estimates of trucking accident fatalities across the country show a possible increase in deaths in these accidents in 2010.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Chief Anne Ferro, the number of people killed in truck accidents in 2010 was close to 4,000. That was an increase from 3,360 fatalities in 2009. This information emerged at a hearing on the Hours of Service rule that is currently pending with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The federal agency should have finalized a new Hours of Service rule last month, but missed a deadline to do so.
However, the number of truck accidents declined in 2010. The trucking industry is likely to pounce on this fact as proof that safety has increased since the Hours of Service were increased to 11 hours, from the earlier 10.