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Research Methodologies and Statistical Approaches to Understanding Driver Fatigue Factors in Motor Carrier Safety and Driver Health


To better understand driver fatigue issues and provide expert direction and support for future Agency research and methodologies.


The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), a component of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)/National Research Council (NRC), conducted a panel study to identify optimal research and statistical methodologies to better understand driver fatigue. This study assessed the large amounts of data already generated by onboard electronic monitoring systems and naturalistic driving studies. NAS will inform the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the panel’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations once the final report has been completed. NAS will not make recommendations about hours-of-service (HOS) rules nor conduct cost-benefit analyses.


The CNSTAT study panel completed the following tasks:
  • Evaluated and identified the most promising data collection methods for improved understanding of factors related to commercial motor vehicle driver fatigue, safety, and health.
  • Reviewed data collection methods, including survey techniques, naturalistic driving studies, and electronic logging devices.
  • Examined issues relating to the analysis of vast stores of data.
  • Identified priorities for future research that could improve the validity and generalizability of relevant knowledge.
  • Assessed the usefulness of fatigue management and monitoring technologies to provide data for fatigue- and safety-related HOS research.
  • Assessed the usefulness of data and statistical models that would assist FMCSA in their research to improve highway safety by reducing fatigue.
  • Assessed statistical methods used to analyze data sets generated by driver monitoring technologies.


Final report with recommendations.


September 2014: Kick-off meeting
December 2015: Final report in NAS review
March 2016: Final report to be published


FY 2011–13: $985,000

Current Status