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Hours-of-Service Study for Safe Roads

FMCSA Offers Cash Incentive for Drivers to Participate in HOS Study

3/26/2015 by Caroline Ailanthus

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is conducting a study to determine whether the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules passed in 2013 effectively reduce exhausted driving and improve driver health. By offering a monetary incentive, the VTTI hopes to attract the remaining 250 drivers it needs to sign up.

                                    

Both the 2013 and pre-2013 rules require drivers to take a 34-hour restart break every week.  However, the 2013 rules require that the restart period includes two nights, while the pre-2013 rules do not.  The logic behind the 2013 rules is that most people have natural sleep cycles that make sleeping during the night necessary and healthy. Critics have charged that these rules force drivers to spend more time on the road during rush hour, when heavy traffic makes driving dangerous.

 

In the VTTI study, drivers are divided into two groups, with one following the 2013 HOS rules and the other following pre-2013 HOS rules. Drivers must fill out a background health survey and keep sleep and caffeine logs. They must also wear an activity monitor on their wrists, take smartphone-based assessments, and submit their information through an HOS electronic logging device (ELD.) Two cameras, one inside the cab and one outside, record driver and road conditions. All data is kept strictly confidential. The VTTI is offering drivers up to $2,166 for the five month study.

 

Both sets of HOS rules are designed to keep the roads safe. This study will help determine what is in both drivers’ and the driving public’s best interests. 

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