FMCSA study supports hours-of-service rule change

February 6, 2014 By    

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released findings from a third-party study providing evidence that the restart provision in the current hours-of-service rule for truck drivers is more effective at combating fatigue than the prior version.

According to a press release, sleep, reaction time, sleepiness and driving performance were measured in the study conducted by the Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center, as well as Philadelphia-based Pulsar Informatics Inc. Researchers found that drivers who began their work week with one nighttime period of rest, rather than two nights in the updated 34-hour restart break, exhibited more lapses of attention. In addition, the study found that those drivers reported greater sleepiness, especially toward the end of their duty periods, and that they showed increased lane deviation.

“This new study confirms the science we used to make the hours-of-service rule more effective at preventing crashes that involve sleepy or drowsy truck drivers,” says Anne Ferro, an FMCSA administrator. “For the small percentage of truckers that average up to 70 hours of work a week, two nights of rest is better for their safety and the safety of everyone on the road.”

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