Latest study identifies impacts from HOS rules

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released the findings of its latest analysis of operational and economic impacts resulting from the new hours-of-service (HOS) rules, which went into effect July 1, 2013.
Changes to the HOS rules implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) include provisions that limit use of the 34-hour restart and require a rest break before driving after eight hours on duty.
Among the operational and economic impacts identified by ATRI are:
•More than 80% of motor carriers surveyed have experienced a productivity loss since the new rules went into effect, with nearly half stating that they require more drivers to haul the same amount of freight.
•Among commercial drivers surveyed by ATRI, 82.5% indicated that the new HOS rules have had a negative impact on their quality of life, with more than 66% indicating higher levels of fatigue.
•Commercial drivers are forced to drive in more congested time periods, although the FMCSA Regulatory Impact Analysis did not address increased safety risks with truck traffic diversion to peak hour traffic.
•The majority of drivers (67%) report decreases in pay since the rules took effect.
•Impacts on driver wages for all over-the-road drivers total $1.6 billion to $3.9 billion in annualized loss.
ATRI’s analysis is based on industry survey data of more than 2,300 commercial drivers and 400 motor carriers, as well a detailed analysis of logbook data representing 40,000-plus commercial drivers.
“We anticipated significant impacts on our operations and across the entire supply chain from the new rules, and our experience since July 1st is bearing that out,” said Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express. “ATRI’s analysis clearly documents the productivity impacts and real financial costs being borne by carriers and drivers. It’s only a matter of time before these impacts ripple throughout the nation’s economy.”
A copy of this report is available at www.atri-online.org.

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