A few months ago, we asked our readers the question, “Are new driving limits making truckers more tired?” This blog post on truck accidents specifically discussed a survey conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute which examines how truck drivers are perceiving their levels of personal fatigue in the wake of new Hours of Service (HOS) amendments recently enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In that post, we noted that over two-thirds of truckers feel that they were more fatigued in the first few months post-implementation of the new HOS amendments than they were before the reforms took effect. However, a new study indicates that the perceived fatigue levels of commercial truck operators may not actually match their true levels of fatigue.
A new study on this very subject has just been released. It was conducted by Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center on behalf of the FMCSA. According to the new study, the new HOS restart periods are resulting in less fatigue, better lane positioning and fewer lapses in attention while driving among drivers who are compelled to take two night rest periods as a part of their restart requirements.
Prior to the new HOS revisions, drivers were not required to have two nighttime rest periods. Fortunately, this reform seems to be accomplishing its intended aim of reducing trucker fatigue, even if it took truckers a few months to adjust to actually feeling the difference that this reformed approach is having on their bodies.
Source: Huffington Post, “New Safety Rules For Truck Drivers Effectively Reduce Fatigue,” Feb. 3, 2014