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Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Restart Study [Research Brief]
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    Research Brief
  • Abstract:
    The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health, and fatigue impacts of the two hours-of-service (HOS) provisions. Under the new restart rule that went into effect on July 1, 2013, if commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers choose to use a provision allowing "restart" of the 60- or 70-hour duty-cycle limit, they were required to include at least two nighttime periods-defined as periods from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m.-in their restart breaks. Use of the 34-hour restart is limited to once every 168 hours. These two provisions were suspended on December 16, 2014. To investigate the operational, safety, fatigue, and health impacts of these two restart provisions on CMV drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sponsored a naturalistic field study where participating drivers worked their normal schedules and performed their normal duties. As required by statute, and over a period lasting as long as 5 months, this study compared operational (work- and sleep-related), safety, fatigue, and health outcomes among CMV drivers using a restart period with 1, 2, or more than 2 nights. The study also analyzed the safety and fatigue effects on those drivers who had less than 168 hours between their restart periods and those drivers who had at least 168 hours between their restart periods. Key findings from the four outcome areas are highlighted in Table 1.

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