On Thursday March 19th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced how the new 34-hour restart study will be conducted. The goal of this study is to compare driver safety and fatigue levels of the following two groups:
- Commercial drivers who take at least two nighttime rest periods during the 34-hour restart break
- Commercial drivers who take one nighttime rest period during the restart break
The study will be conducted over a five month period and will measure numerous factors related to driver safety. This include accidents, near accidents, fatigue, alertness and more. Drivers will be selected to participate from motor carrier fleets of all sizes and from a wide variety of operations.
Metrics will be monitored and evaluated using several devices and tests: Electronic Logging Devices to measure time on duty, actigraph watches to measure sleep, psychomotor vigilance tests to monitor alertness, and onboard cameras.
After the five month data collection is completed, a review board will assess the data and advise the Department of Transportation of their findings.
Here is a link to the March 19, 2015 FMCSA announcement: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/commercial-motor-vehicle-driver-restart-study