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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Field Study on the Efficacy of the New Restart Provision for Hours of Service December 2011 Final Rule


To evaluate the effectiveness of the new 34-hour restart provision on driver fatigue.


Congress directed, in Section 32301 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21), to complete a field study on the efficacy of the restart rule published on December 27, 2011. The field study shall expand upon the results of the laboratory-based study entitled, "Investigation into Motor Carrier Practices to Achieve Optimal CMV Driver Performance: Phase I and II." Congress stated that ". . . in conducting the field study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) should ensure. . ." the following:

  • Field study is consistent with the laboratory-based study methodology.
  • Data is representative of drivers affected by the maximum driving time requirements.
  • Analysis is statistically valid.
  • Field study follows the plan for ‘‘Scheduling & Fatigue Recovery Project."

MAP-21 requires the Agency to provide to Congress no later than September 30, 2013, a report detailing the results of this field study


This study was a field operational test of the 34-hour restart provision requiring 2 nights of sleep between work weeks. The study team designed a field evaluation that had a protocol that similar to the above-mentioned lab study for Phase I that was conducted at Washington State University. This field evaluation was with three volunteer carrier(s) and with commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who were using the 34-hour restart period. The study agent recruited CMV drivers who routinely drove and worked approximately 70 hours per week. The minimum 34-hour restart, 2-night provision only really pertained to CMV drivers who drove predominately during the nighttime hours.


A report that identifies the efficacy of the new 34-hour restart provision at providing adequate rest for CMV drivers.


July 2013Completed data collection
September 2013Data reduction and analysis
October 2013Draft final report
October 2013Final report


FY 2012$1,500,000FMCSAResearch and Technology


Final report was published and can be accessed at


Virginia Technical Transportation Institute