Article by: Matt Sullivan

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Our partners over at KeepTruckin launched a petition to change the FMCSA’s 14-hour rule. The rule is meant to keep roads safer by making sure drivers aren’t fatigued, but KeepTrucking shows that the widespread problem of detention combined with the inflexibility of the 14-hour rule actually leads to more unsafe driving.

KeepTruckin offers an affordable and easy-to-use ELD solution for small carriers and owner-operators, and they found that truck drivers often feel pressured to drive faster because of this portion of the HOS (hours of service) rules.

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Under the current HOS rules, a driver isn’t allowed to drive after 14 consecutive on-duty hours. The problem is that, on average, drivers get detained by shippers or receivers for more than two hours a total of seven times per month – three out of four drivers are detained more than 2 hours at pick-up or drop-off at least once a week.

The tighter schedule often leaves the truck driver with three choices:

Miss a delivery or pickup
Drive faster to make up time
Break HOS rules

KeepTruckin’s data shows that drivers typically drive faster than they normally would after getting detained, since they feel the pressure of completing all their tasks before the 14-hour clock runs out.

Creating more flexibility for drivers who’ve been detained would go a long way in safeguarding truck drivers, and changing the rule could save lives, since speeding is the leading cause of fatal accidents.