I’ve been watching the business out in California as regards that crash between a Fed-Ex Double pup, and the bus. I have to tell you that I’m not impressed with how this investigation is going this far. I suppose the reasons for this are bit less than obvious, so let me explain a little and perhaps help you understand.
I used to drive for US Xpress years ago, during that time in California were not unusual. Usually, interstate 40 was the preferred path. During that time frame one of the things I learned was that there are a number of trucking companies that tend to run faster on the highway. See if you can notice a pattern among them…. UPS, Fed-Ex, Yellow/Roadway and a few others. I could have my foot bolted to floor doing to truck would allow in terms of speed and still get blown into the weeds by these guys and their Double Pup trailer configs, such as the one that hit the bus the other day.
Since switching to a local and then a regional status with my current carrier, Ive seen a lot of the same symptoms with a lot of the dedicated route types, Fed-Ex among them.
While not fully convinced that the driver of that truck is at fault here, it does seem logical based on that previous experience to wonder if speed wasn’t a factor here. If that assumption is correct, the driver still isn’t necessarily the bad guy, and this leads me to my point… The government may well be the issue.
I’d like you to consider, here, the ever stiffer regulations faced by trucking companies, involving allowable drive time, duty time and so on. Those FMCSA rules cause freight scheduling to be unrealistically tight. Drivers are caught between the companies who are trying to survive the added regulatory burdens imposed by the federal government, and the rules themselves. This tends to cause them to drive faster in situations that don’t really support such driving.
As in this case, I suspect. You will doubtless see speed listed as a factor for the cause of this crash, assuming such information ever comes to light. What you will NOT see, however, is a serious and open examination of what effect the current FMCSA regs had on that driver’s choices.. And that, in my view, is what is seriously needed here.
Once again, the actual result of even well-meaning laws can be and are devastating on a number of levels. And far from well-meaning, some of the stuff we’ve been seeing coming out of the FMCSA seems at best arbitrary and spiteful. What is worse, since the FMCA is not accountable to the American people, they make and enforce laws that are never approved by Congress, or voted on by the people… there is no challenging them on this.