We’re almost done with 2020. It’s been a year of highs and lows, struggles and triumphs. Soon, we’ll ring in the new year! As we close out the month, let’s take a look at national truck driver industry news, and let’s also reflect on our year at F|Staff.

Injuries Involving Large-Truck Crashes Are on the Rise

In the commercial driving industry, “Safety First” isn’t just a motto–it’s a way of life. While we at F|Staff pride ourselves on our drivers’ safety records, the industry itself seems to be headed in a not-so-great direction. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that overall injuries from large-truck crashes increased by 5.3% in 2019. That figure jumped to an 18% increase in injuries to the drivers themselves. By comparison, the rate of injuries for all vehicle-related crashes increased 1.2%. The rate of fatalities caused by large-truck crashes remained virtually unchanged.

Before you leave on your next trip, remember these important safety precautions that can help improve safety for you and those around you:

  • Buckle up! Over 40% of crash-related deaths occur from failure to use a seat belt.
  • The phone can wait. Make use of hands-free phone features, and never text and drive.
  • Mind your speed. Be sure to follow all speed and traffic laws, and be especially careful in construction zones.
  • Give some following distance. Maintaining proper spacing between you and the vehicle in front of you gives you more time to stop if you suddenly encounter traffic or a road hazard.
  • Check your mirrors and cameras. Never assume that there isn’t a vehicle next to you; always double-check before changing lanes.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Check weather reports during your stops, so you know what to expect on the road ahead of you.
  • Take a break. If you feel tired, pull over and rest, and never push past your hours of service limits.

FMCSA Changes Rules to Attract New Drivers

2020 has been a big year for the trucking industry–the country depended on truckers to drive everything, and you delivered! Now, the FMCSA is rising to meet yet another challenge: the driver shortage crisis that has plagued the industry for several years. The FMCSA relaxed the rule around who can administer the CDL skills test. With the new final rule, individual states can allow third-party skills trainers to test those who they have trained.

While some fear this change may lead to fraud or abuse of the rule, the FMCSA stated that the existing process caused 6.4 million days of delay since 2016, placing 258,744 industry jobs on hold, resulting in $1.5 billion in lost wages. The new rule intends to accelerate the process while still maintaining the same integrity and rigorous testing standards of the past.

An F|Staff Year in Review

F|Staff had a busy and productive 2020. We feel fortunate to have such a supportive staff and dedicated family of drivers that helped move us forward during a difficult time. Here are some of the highlights:

  • At the beginning of the year, we moved–both at F|Staff and as an industry–to the national CDL Clearinghouse for reporting drug and alcohol violations.
  • We closely tracked and monitored the impacts of CA AB5 on our California-based carrier companies and drivers and offered a solution to keep drivers moving no matter what happened with the lawsuits.
  • We kept carriers and drivers working through and beyond the initial shutdowns caused by the pandemic.
  • We supported the USPS through a busy year with badged, qualified drivers.
  • We gave back to our community and raised money through our Truck Driver Relief Fund.
  • Our company celebrated its 20th birthday!
  • We radically disrupted the industry with Fast Pay–a feature of the F|Staff app that lets drivers get paid the day after they drive.

Stay tuned for more! We’re ready to hit the ground running on January 1st.

Until then, we wish all of our drivers, carrier partners, and community members a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

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