Trucking Research/studies Hours of service

FMCSA’s study on hours-of-service restart was flawed, trucking association claims

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Arlington, VA – The study used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to retroactively justify changes to truck drivers’ hours-of-service regulations is flawed, claims an April 22 report from the American Transportation Research Institute.

ATRI, which is the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, reviewed the research methodology used in an FMCSA study on the safety benefits of requiring drivers to get more nighttime sleep whenever they “restart” their weekly driving hours by resting for 34 continuous hours.

That study, which tracked 106 truck drivers using restarts through two duty cycles, claimed that drivers who had two nighttime periods were better rested and drove more safely than drivers with only one nighttime period.

Among the alleged flaws ATRI identified in its analysis:

  • Drivers with one nighttime rest period were limited to about two days of total rest, while the other group could rest as long as they wanted – which could explain the differences in fatigue.
  • A sample size of 106 is too small to generalize for a total population of about 1.6 million truck drivers.
  • Drivers’ sleepiness scores for either group did not indicate substantial sleepiness.