Study Plan Update – April 2015
At the outset of the congressionally-mandated Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Driver Restart Study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) committed to keeping the Office of Inspector General (OIG) informed of any study plan modifications. In February 2015, FMCSA published the original study plan, which outlines the scope and methodology for the CMV Driver Restart Study, as required by Sec. 133(d) of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. After publishing the original study plan, modifications were applied based on comments from the independent peer review panel, FMCSA, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), internal team discussions, and conversations with stakeholders. The modifications to the study plan are described in Appendices F and G of the updated study plan.
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (The Act) directed FMCSA to conduct a CMV Driver Restart Study. This study plan outlines the scope and methodology as required by Sec. 133 (d) of The Act. Congress directed that within 90 days of enactment of the Act, “the Secretary shall initiate a naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health, and fatigue impacts of the restart provisions in Sections 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, on commercial motor vehicle drivers.” The FMCSA study required under the Act should compare these impacts on CMV drivers working under provisions in effect between July 1, 2013, and the day before the date of enactment of the Act (i.e., 2-night rest period), compared to the impacts on drivers working under the provisions in effect on June 30, 2013, (i.e., 1-night restart period) in a sample of drivers large enough to produce statistically significant results. The required research design will compare the effects of different recovery times to be both an “in-subject and between-subject research design.” It is expected that the two groups of drivers operating under the two restart conditions will overlap, and consequently a paired study design will be used given its statistical power. The study will also analyze the safety and fatigue effect on those drivers who have less than 168 hours between their restart period and those drivers who have at least 168 hours between their restart periods.