The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is still looking for volunteer truck drivers who typically use a 34-hour restart period to participate in a study on the impact of the 2013 changes to the hours of service (HOS) rule.
The “naturalistic” study being conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will focus on the operational, safety, health, and fatigue impacts of the federal HOS restart provisions, according to an April 21 update from FMCSA.
In the $4 million study, the institute’s Center for Truck and Bus Safety will track and compare truck driver fatigue and safety performance levels for drivers who take two nighttime rest periods during their 34-hour restart break, as under the 2013 rule, and for drivers who take less than two nighttime rest periods during their restart break.
The 2015 DOT funding appropriation suspended two provisions of the current hours of service (HOS) rule, pending completion of the driver restart study.
Lawmakers who pushed for the suspension argued that the restart requirement adopted in 2013 disrupts some drivers’ sleep routines and puts more trucks on the road during the morning rush hour, and that FMCSA had little evidence to support the need for such a requirement.
Drivers who have volunteered to participate in the study are receiving updates from the study team by phone or by email regarding their status as potential participants, the agency says.
The study is required to have participating drivers from different fleet sizes, types of operations, and in various sectors of the industry.
Drivers will be paid for their participation in the five month study, and all personally identifiable information from the research will remain with the independent study team and will not be shared with the government, FMCSA says.
To volunteer as a participant, drivers should visit www.RestartStudy.com.