Why The FMCSA Says New Truck Driver Detention Study Will Be Different This Time

Washington D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has initiated a study on truck driver detention with the goals of measuring its impact on highway safety and workforce wages.

As part of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed into law late last year, the FMCSA was ordered to commission a study on truck driver detention.


This week, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) provided more information about the newly-commissioned study.

The Department said that unlike studies looking at detention in years past, it expects the new study to provide more insight thanks to troves of data collected from electronic logging devices (ELDs).

“Unlike past studies on the impact of driver detention time, this study will use a cross section of ELD data to provide a much more detailed understanding of wait times for drivers across jurisdictions and industry sectors,” the USDOT claimed. “Data used will be aggregated and anonymized to ensure driver privacy.”


In addition to quantifying detention time, the USDOT promised the study will “also review how detention time influences the likelihood of a crash or an hours-of-service violation.”

The issue of driver detention has roiled the industry for many years exposing chronic inefficiencies in the supply chain.

As America now faces an unprecedented supply chain backlog, USDOT leadership says there is renewed interest to improve working conditions for truck drivers.


Department leaders say they hope that identifying ways to increase utilization of truckers’ daily allowable driving time will ease the stressed supply chain and also lead to more wages earned, which could then boost the industry’s awful retention rates.

“In some parts of the trucking industry, 90% of drivers turn over each year,” USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said this week. “Making sure truck drivers are paid and treated fairly is the right thing to do, and it will help with both recruiting new drivers and keeping experienced drivers on the job.” 


At the same time the FMCSA is studying detention, the Agency will also study the best ways to compensate truckers.

The purpose of the driver pay study is to explore the impacts of various methods of driver compensation on safety and driver retention.

Specifically, researchers will evaluate mileage and hourly pay, payment for detention time, and other payment methods used in the industry.

Click HERE to read more about the driver pay study.

TransportationNation.com will continue to follow the detention study.


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