FMCSA Recruits Drivers for HOS Study at MATS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration encouraged commercial drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show to sign up for an hours-of-service study that aims to determine fatigue factors among truck operators.

Agency officials told Transport Topics on March 28 they had met with several drivers who were interested in participating in the paid study.

If selected, a driver would be paid nearly $2,200 for a five-month commitment. Participants would be required to operate their trucks with a camera facing inward and a camera facing the road, wear a wrist activity monitor, and keep a sleep diary and caffeine log. FMCSA also would review their electronic logging devices. Researchers are seeking about 250 drivers for the study, which must be completed by Sept. 30.

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“There’s an intensive study going on. It’s what’s referred to as a naturalistic study, which means real people, real driving,” said Anne Collins, FMCSA’s associate administrator for field operations.

Earlier this year, FMCSA contracted Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute to study the recently suspended 34-hour restart rule. Federal lawmakers required that the agency review the rule’s effect on safety and driver alertness in response to industry concerns that the rule was forcing several drivers to operate during heavily congested daytime hours. Many truckers say they find it ideal to drive during less congested times. 

In December, President Obama signed into law a fiscal 2015 funding bill that suspended the enforcement that drivers take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart. However, truckers still have to adhere to pre-July 2013 hours-of-service regulations.