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February 13, 2018

Long idling times for loading increase truck drivers' accident risks

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) conducted an audit to assess available data on delays in motor carrier loading and unloading, and to provide information on measuring the potential effects of loading and unloading delays.

Accurate industry wide data on driver detention do not currently exist because most industry stakeholders measure only time spent at a shipper or receiver's facility beyond the limit established in shipping contracts. Available electronic data cannot readily discern detention time from legitimate loading and unloading tasks, and are unavailable for a large segment of the industry.

The USDOT estimated that a 15-minute increase in average dwell time - the total time spent by a truck at a facility - increases the average expected crash rate by 6.2 percent. In addition, USDOT estimated that detention is associated with reductions in annual earnings of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion for for-hire commercial motor vehicle drivers in the truckload sector. For motor carriers in that sector, USDOT estimated that detention reduces net income by $250.6 million to $302.9 million annually.

FMCSA's plan to collect data on driver detention does not call for collection or detailed analysis of reliable or representative data, and the Agency has no plans to verify the data that motor carriers and drivers would provide. As a result, the data may not accurately describe how the diverse trucking industry experiences driver detention, which would limit any further analysis of impacts.

Source: USDOT