Hours of Service and Driver Fatigue: Driver Characteristics Researchby U.S. Department of Transportation
It is generally accepted that commercial motor
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Trucks occupy a large and growing segment of the traffic on American highways. On many rural interstate highways, trucks constitute more than one-third of the total traffic stream. Truck crashes present unique safety challenges, including greater mass of the truck and truck drivers’ unique working schedules.
It is generally accepted that commercial motor vehicle driver safety is related to drivers’ work schedules, including driving time, on-duty/not-driving time, and off-duty time. In 1938, the now-abolished Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforced the first hours-of-service (HOS) rules for the industry to promote the healthy development of the carrier industry and protect drivers’ safety.
In this study, qualitative and quantitative analyses of driver hours of service were performed to assess the implications of particular policies on the odds of a crash. The outcomes studied were crashes reported by the trucking companies cooperating with the study. These crashes involved either a fatality, an injury requiring medical treatment away from the scene of the crash, or a towaway. Carrier-supplied driver logs for periods of 1–2 weeks prior to the crash were used and compared to a random sample (two drivers) of non-crash-involved drivers selected from the same company, terminal, and month using a case-control logistic regression formulation. This is the methodology identified in the study proposal and has been used by the study team in many previous research studies. Data were separated into truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) analyses because previous research indicated differences in crash contributing factors for these two segments of the trucking industry.
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