Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways
Position Paper and Submission to the Docket of the U.S.
Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
on Hours of Service of Truck Drivers
June 30, 1997
FHWA-97-2350 "Hours of Service of Drivers"
FHWA Docket No. 49 CFR Part 395
Closing Date: June 30, 1997, 5:00 pm
Docket No. before 60 day extension period: MC-96-28
Federal Highway Administration
Office of the Chief Counsel
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20590
Hours of Service of Drivers
This submission is in response to Federal Highways Administration (FHWA)'s request in an Advanced Notice for Proposed Rule Making for studies or information bearing on the reform of current Hours of Service (HOS) rules regulating commercial truck drivers and their employers. The ANPRM states that the agency will formulate an initial proposal that will appear in a notice of proposed rulemaking in 1998 or sooner. The proposal to appear in the NPRM, FHWA says, "1) Would minimize crashes and regulatory burdens, 2) are supportable either by data or by the best available professional judgement, or 3) are cost-effective, simple to understand, comply with, and 4) are enforceable. A final rule may be developed and published as early as 1999.
The Impact of Truck Driver Fatigue on Highway Safety
There is no question that fatigue dangerously impairs truck driver performance. Two thirds of long haul truck drivers surveyed by the Regular Common Carrier Conference in 1989 agreed that fatigue is a safety problem. R. Mackie and J. Miller, two researchers under contract to the Department of Transportation, combined an accident study, field experiments and a truck driver survey and reported that driver on irregular schedules had an increased risk of accident after 5 to 6 hours of driving. Even drivers on regular daytime schedules experienced adverse effects after 8 _ hours of driving. The researchers also reported increased risks between midnight and 6:00 am and earlier fatigue occurring among drivers using sleeper berths.
A 1987 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that the risk of a crash for truck driver who have driven more than 8 hours at a stretch is almost twice that of driver who have driven fewer hours. Recent research in Europe indicates that accident involvement rates increase rapidly as the duration of a driver's work shift increases beyond 8 hours.
Fatigued drivers are dangerous. Three studies indicate that a cause of a large percentage of the more serious truck crashes is truck driver fatigue. The NTSB 1987-88 twelve-month study in 8 states of crashes which resulted in the truck driver's death concluded that truck driver fatigue was a probable cause in 31 percent of those fatal crashes. Although fatal-to-the-driver crashes are not necessarily representative of all fatal tuck crashes or of all truck crashes, the NTSB study does indicate that truck driver fatigue is a grave safety problem.
The American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted an in-depth study in 7 western states of 255 serious heavy truck crashes during 1983-84. The crashes were ones in which the truck had to be towed from the scene. Driving hours and mileage were retrospectively examined from bills of lading, fuel receipts, and weight station and inspection tickets. Fatigue was deemed a probable cause of the crash if the driver was estimated to have been on duty for more than 15 consecutive hours (in violation of the HOS rules) and if the crash involved non-professional, irrational actions by the driver. Fatigue was also deemed a probable cause if it was indicated as such in the report of the officer at the scene. Of the 221 crashes for which a probable cause judgement was made, fatigue was cited in 90 cases, 41 percent of the crashes for which probable cause could be determined. The authors concluded that fatigue was a contributing cause in a further 18 percent of crashes -- a total of nearly 60 percent of the crashes. Although truck crashes in which the truck must be towed from the scene are not necessarily representative of all truck crashes, the AAA study confirms that fatigue is a serious safety concern.
The 1988 truck driver survey sponsored by the Regular Common Carrier Conference (RCCC) trucking association found that truck drivers estimate, on average, that 36 percent of truck crashes are caused by driver fatigue.
Although none of the three studies is a perfect indicator of the number of truck crashes caused by driver fatigue, the percentages in each of the three studies are remarkably consistent. By contrast, the American Trucking Association' routine contention that only 2 to 4 percent of truck crashes involve drivers dozing at the wheel, is markedly divergent. The ATA's citation for this data is the Office of Motor Carrier's (OMC) database, which is based on carrier's voluntary reporting of crashes in which they are involved to the OMC. These data are considered by the safety community and most others to be highly unreliable. A recent study that examined this issue found that only 39 percent of eligible crashes were, in fact, reported to OMC. Furthermore, the study found that most of the crashes involving drivers who had log book violations were not reported to OMC. Truck driver fatigue is a serious safety problem that must be addressed by aggressive HOS rule reform.
The principle underlying CRASH's response to the ANPRM is that to reduce the role of fatigue in fatal highway crashes there must be substantial overhaul of truck driver working conditions, including driver compensation systems, such that the new HOS rules reasonably accord with drivers' quality of life requirements and pay equity.
The FHWA Fatigue Study
Study is Deeply Flawed and the Agency Should not Rely Heavily on It in HOS Assessment
CRASH considers the FHWA/ American Trucking Associations study on truck driver fatigue to be deeply flawed in many regards. In FHWA's comprehensive assessment of all relevant scientific research on shift work and fatigue production, including research and policy considerations on hours of service in other transportation modes, it should not rely heavily on the FHWA study as a definitive study of commercial driver fatigue.
FHWA characterizes the Essex Corporation/ Trucking Research Institute study in the ANPRM as the most massive, most complete study ever undertaken and makes it clear that the agency intends to rely heavily on it in its determination of HOS reform. However, the FHWA commissioned a research branch of the trucking industry for this study on truck driver fatigue. The study's conclusions are conspicuously consistent with this conflict of interest. The same can be said for a 1981 fatigue study commissioned by FHWA: Impact of Implementing a Maximum Duty Tour Limit in Hours of Service Regulations. This kind of conflict of interest is even more serious in light of the fact that the trucking industry is, at the very least, complicit in its contribution to the problem of fatigue. It is clearly in the trucking lobby's interest to allow trucking companies to push their drivers relentlessly, since pay-offs through insurance settlements in the aftermath of crashes do not hurt the companies as much as unregulated exploitation of their labor benefits them.
The study itself fails to reproduce typical driving demands and schedules. The conditions created for the study are not worse than typical conditions, but rather much better. This is consistent with the conflict of interest in the study's architects. Specifically, the study fails to reproduce typical long-haul driving conditions in that: 1) drivers had familiar routing on each driving tour; 2) drivers had no 18-hour constant shift inversion as permitted by current U.S. regulation; 3) drivers' off-duty time exceeded the 8-hour maximum of current U.S. regulations; 4) almost half of the drivers took naps, of about half an hour, sometime during the daily round trips observed; 5) drivers had a nearly one-hour terminal break during the middle of a 10-hour or 13-hour round trip; 6) drivers were paid by the hour, not by the mile; 7) drivers slept "in comfortable rooms near the travel route" (p. 24) instead of sleeper berths, and, of particular importance; 8) drivers got two to three days off in a row, thus countering the effects of cumulative fatigue over successive driving tours of duty.
The study admits, notwithstanding its short duration and the highly controlled and idealized conditions, that 64 percent of the drivers were found to have suffered episodes of drowsiness. Fifteen percent of the drivers suffered from 10 or more drowsy episodes, with an average of 22 such episodes. Apparently, again despite the highly controlled circumstances and short duration of the study, two of the drivers actually fell asleep during the study, though no crashes resulted.
How drivers were selected for the study has a bearing on the strength of its conclusions as well. Some selection process seems to have been used, since, strangely, only two of the eighty drivers in the study suffer from sleep Apnea. Other studies, including those of Dr. Dement, Director of the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Research Center, have indicated a much higher percentage of truck drivers suffer from this disorder. If only handpicked drivers were used, the sample is an extremely poor indicator of the prevalence of fatigue in the target population. Alternatively, the individual differences between the drivers' fatigue levels during the study may have been a function of the respective drivers' activities before the study commenced. Some drivers may have begun the study quite rested, while others were already tired. In the course of the study, nonetheless, most or all of the drivers' sleep patterns in the study indicated that they were sleep deprived. Although the summary in several instances indicates that there was no statistically significant difference in drowsiness episodes between the 10 and 13 hour drive times (except for those which included night time driving), it is plain that the drivers who had the 13 hours shifts were clinically more sleep deprived than their 10 hour counterparts.
Of note, in addition, is the fact that drivers in the study were found to overwhelmingly underreport their drowsiness. This indicates that either drivers in the study biased their self-evaluations with the intention of generating a particular study outcome that would indirectly benefit them, or that any review of hours of service regulations needs to address the training that obviously is lacking in drivers' awareness of fatigue.
CRASH strongly cautions FHWA against relying on any single study, and especially any single study that does not reproduce typical driving demands and schedules, in its deliberations. That outcome may be likely if FHWA is susceptible to the constantly escalating demands of the trucking industry for increased trucking industry "productivity". Rather, the new regulations must be based on protecting the health and safety of drivers -- both of trucks and of cars -- and enhancing the safety of commercial vehicle operations in conformity with the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1986.
Pay by the Mile or Load Encourages Fatigued Driving under the Current System
FHWA asks in the ANPRM, "should new HOS regulations depend upon how a driver is paid? How should such pay issues, (e.g. mileage, hourly, load, or some other measure) be addressed?"
Drivers compensated by the mile, by the load, or by a percentage of revenue generated by the trip are being encouraged to hurry. Any obstacle to accumulating miles or delivering a load consequently makes a driver irritated because it affects the size of their paycheck at the end of the day. Speeding, frequent and hazardous lane changing, and tailgating can result, leading to increased risk of causing a crash.
Since truck drivers are uncompensated under these pay systems for delays, drivers will avoid delays at all costs. There is an economic incentive to skip safety checks of the vehicle or take naps in the interest of safety. Compounding the problem are schedules imposed by trucking companies on drivers that can be met only if drivers violate federal HOS rules. The HOS regulations were intended to prevent fatigued truck drivers from endangering themselves and motorists with whom they share the road; because the economic incentives to ignore them, however,these rules do not protect drivers or the public.
The new HOS rules must incorporate a system of compensation for drivers that allows them to generate reasonable and adequate income while fulfilling their obligation to uphold the law. Presently, drivers have a strong economic incentive to falsify records of the amount of time they drive or are on-duty. If drivers are fully compensated for all of their encumbered time, there will be no need to cheat on their log books, or drive beyond their capabilities.
FHWA should give full consideration to the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study on truck driver fatigue from January 1995. The study reported that fatigue may be the number one cause of fatal truck crashes. The study has found that current hours-of-service rules are inadequate to protect truck drivers from fatigue and sleep deprivation. The NTSB study recommended that hours-of-service rules should be changed to decrease the widespread problem of truck driver fatigue. NTSB reported in 1995 that of the 107 drivers investigated, about 67 percent of drivers with irregular sleep patterns had fatigue related accidents. And 94 percent of drivers with inverted sleep patterns had fatigue related accidents.
Today, approximately 93 percent of long-haul truck drivers are paid either by the miles traveled or by the load. Less than five percent of truck drivers work for companies with union contracts. Because compensation per mile or per load is low, drivers feel pressured to drive as many miles as possible in as short a time as possible in order to survive economically. The 1989 Regular Common Carrier Conference (RCCC) survey found that of the two-thirds of drivers who felt fatigue was a safety problem, 58 percent of them believe tight schedules are major contributors to fatigue. The 1987 version of the study said, "28 percent of the drivers were on schedules which require the driver to speed and/or violate hours of service regulations. As startling as this is, it almost surely understates the magnitude of the problem. The assumptions employed in developing this percentage are extremely conservative. For example, it was assumed that drivers began the journey, which originated in Florida, with zero hours of on duty time logged against them."
At the same time, hourly driver wages for truck drivers, adjusted for inflation, dropped 15 percent from 1970 to 1994 while the cost of living has increased.
While law enforcement may threaten truck drivers with fines, employers can cut off or jeopardize a truck driver's means of making a living. Companies are the source of incentives to drivers to operate their large trucks responsibly or irresponsibly. Trucking companies, not truck drivers, are the origin of operating practices which put the motoring public at risk. This inference becomes especially important in light of the fact that in fatal 2-vehicle crashes involving a car and a large truck in 1995, 96 percent of the deaths were car occupants.
Under new HOS rules carriers should pay drivers from the time a truck driver is on duty until he or she is off duty. CRASH supports the language of the National Master Freight Agreement in this area: "On all runs or trips... drivers shall be paid for miles driven at the mileage rate (or hours, whichever is greater) plus the hourly rate for work time or an eight (8) hour guarantee at the hourly rate for all time spent whichever is greater....Time spent other than driving...shall include but not be limited to chaining time, tire changes, check and fuel time en route, loading and unloading [subject to the provisions on loading and unloading outlined later in these comments], waiting to load and/or unload, breakdown time, time lost due to impassable highways...." On page 15 the National Master Freight Agreement gives straightforward, concise rules with regard to on-duty pay: "The regular hourly rate shall apply for the time spent from the time the driver reports for duty and until the time he departs on his run or trip. Likewise, the regular hourly rate shall apply for the time spend after a driver arrives at his destinations until he is effectively released from duty."
With regard to on-duty-not-driving pay, compensation should follow the model of the National Master Freight Agreement: "Paid for time under this provision, as well as time spent in making pick-ups and/or deliveries at points en route and intermediate terminals, time lost through delay in pick-ups and/or deliveries at points en route and intermediate terminals and for work performed in making pick-ups and/or deliveries as permitted...shall be paid for at the applicable minimum hourly rates....All employees... shall be paid for all time spent in the service of the Employer [emphasis added]....Time shall be computed from the time that the employee is ordered to report for work and registers in and until the time he is effectively released from duty. All time lost to delays as a result of overloads or certificate violations involving Federal, State, or City regulations, which occur through no fault of the driver, shall be paid for. Such payment for driver's time when not driving shall be the hourly rate."
With regard to the payment of drivers during delays at origin and/ or the end of a run, breakdowns or impassable highways, CRASH also supports the language of the National Master Freight Agreement: "On breakdowns or impassable highways, drivers on all runs shall be paid the minimum hourly rate for all time spent in such delays, commencing with the first hour or fraction thereof, but not to exceed 8 hours out of each 24 hour period, except that when a drivers(s) is required to remain with his equipment during such breakdown or impassable highway, he shall be paid for all such delay time and the rate specified. When a driver is relieved from duty, he shall in addition be furnished clean, comfortable, sanitary lodging. When a driver is held longer than 8 hours, the first meal shall be $9.00, five hours later it shall be $9.00, five additional hours later it shall be $11.00.... The pay for delay time shall be in addition to monies earned for miles driven and/or work performed. Time required to be spent with the equipment shall not be included within the first 8 hours out of each 24 hour period for which a driver is compensated on break-downs or impassable highways, but must be paid for in addition."
Working conditions, and specifically the conditions under which truck drivers rest while on a tour of duty, should conform to the language expressed in the National Master Freight Agreement (p.10): "Where the employer does not provide drivers with a waiting facility which is adequate under the circumstances it shall be taken up as a grievance....Comfortable, sanitary lodging shall be furnished by the Employer in all cases where an employee is required to take a rest period away from his home terminal. Comfortable, sanitary lodging shall mean a room maintained at present day standards with cleaning service, clean sheets, pillowcases, blankets, got and cold running water, good ventilation, and easy access to clean, sanitary toilet facilities in the building, and shall also be equipped with showers and/or bath. Air-conditioned dormitories and/or hotel rooms, if available, shall be furnished when seasonal and climatic conditions require. Hotel rooms and dormitories shall be equipped with blinds or draperies or be suitably darkened during daylight hours. There shall be no bunk beds or double beds. New dormitories must be soundproofed. All road driver lodging must be maintained on the basis of one driver per room.... In lieu of the Employer furnishing satisfactory lodging, the employee shall be paid $13.50 for each rest period; except where accommodation is unavailable at such figure and it is necessary for the driver to pay in excess of $13.50, he shall receive reimbursement of the actual cost of the room....All time in excess of 1 hour waiting for sleeping room to be made available, to be paid at the hourly rate of pay."
To remove economic incentives to truck drivers to speed, forgo safety checks, and drive fatigued, all of a truck driver's encumbered time must be paid for. The encumbered time must be paid for from the moment he or she is put on standby until released from duty at a location of his or her choosing. The purpose of this provision is straightforward: to eliminate the incentive that drivers now have to lie about the amount of time they drive, and allow to be paid for the time they actually work. If drivers are fully compensated for all of their encumbered time, there will be no need to cheat on their log books, or drive beyond their capacities.
The new hours of service regulations must promote a change in trucking companies' attitude toward their employees' working conditions. We must also promote a better understanding among truck drivers of the basic legal protections they have against exploitation by employers (this is addressed later in these comments).
Fair Labor Standards Act Exemption
Revoke the Exemption of Truck Drivers from the FLSA
FHWA asks in the ANPRM, "Should legislation be sought to remove the FLSA exemption based upon scientific data?" FHWA should take action to include truck drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act so that they have exactly the same wage protections as other American workers. Inclusion will mean that drivers will get time-and-a-half overtime pay, in addition to other protections.
Truck drivers should be included in the Fair Labor Standards Act so that they have minimum wage protections for all the time that they are encumbered. The same justification applies here for all other employees guaranteed a minimum wage; there is no special circumstances surrounding truck drivers that justify their exemption. Including drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act would require rescinding an exemption that might have made some sense in 1936, but no longer does. The burden should rest on the trucking industry to prove why it should be a special case exempted from labor laws, especially given the number of its employees and its massive resources.
The time-and-a-half wage law was written in 1938, but interstate truck drivers were exempted from this law because, it was argued, the recently passed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations already limited the drivers' work hours. Hours-of-service regulations were created in order to both maintain industry standards of performance and productivity, and, supposedly, to protect truck drivers from long hours behind the wheel. These hours-of-service restrictions are the only laws, then, guarding truck drivers from exploitative work schedules that could cause them to drive in an exhausted, dangerous condition. Almost every other worker in the U.S. is protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937, while the truck driver has no other protection than hours-of-service rules.
In the 1930s trucking operations were small, highly localized and thought to be in need of special protection. Their exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act is grossly outdated in the context of today's sprawling multi-billion dollar trucking industry. According to American Trucking Associations itself, the industry does over $30 billion in business each year, and will enjoy huge economic growth by the middle of the next century. The industry is one of the U.S.'s largest employers with about 9 million workers, about 3 million of whom are truck drivers. The trucking industry is one of the only industries that may have its employees tethered 24 hours per day.
The exemption of truck drivers from the FLSA has facilitated payment of truck drivers by the mile, and treatment of truck drivers that is summed up this way by one truck driver: "Truck deregulation and a pay-by-the-mile system push us to go as far and as fast as we can just to keep a job, let alone make a living. This is just one example of how trucking companies take advantage of us. They have made our jobs into rolling sweatshops. The schedules we are forced to adhere to often disregard safety and give us incentive to speed which causes us to sometimes tailgate other, slower driving motorists. When you factor in fatigue, the results are deadly."
Because of the working conditions drivers experience, driver turnover in trucking companies often exceeds 100 percent per year. According to a trucking industry magazine Trucking and Transport Leasing, "Drivers sometimes are on the road for weeks at a time, and there are many other unpleasant aspects of the job." Truck drivers, like other people, know when they feel sleepy or sick, and need a system in place that allows them to act on concerns about driving at particular times without fear of reproof by their companies.
The new HOS rules must address the economic incentive to drivers to work when overtired; in other words, it must address the issue of paying drivers adequately for all the time that they are working. New hours of service regulations must provide ample off-duty daily and weekly rest time to ensure full rest and recovery from fatigue and sleep deprivation that restores driver alertness and vigilance.
Moving the authority for truck-driver compensation from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Labor would probably be an advantage with respect to working conditions for truck drivers, and hence highway safety. This change would reduce companies' pressure on drivers to drive when it is unsafe to do so because of fatigue, illness, or other factors covered under Section 405 of STAA.
C. Driving Time Maximum
The ANPRM asks, "How many, if any, extra continuous driving time hours should be allowed due to adverse driving conditions to enhance safety and productivity based upon scientific data?... Should there be a specific clock-time or "circadian trough/peak provisions for safety purposes? Should early morning driving time (e.g. 1:00 am to 5:00 am) be more restricted than driving time during normal daylight driving time?... Should there be some minimum for the shorter period of time to encourage a minimum amount of rest?"
A truck driver should have no more than ten hours driving in any twelve hour on-duty period. Raymond Fuller, Prolonged Heavy Vehicle Driving Performance: Effects of Unpredictable Shift Onset and Duration and Convoy vs. Independent Driving Conditions, supports this assertion, as well as Tzuo-Ding Lin, et al in Time of Day Models of Motor Carrier Accident Risk, and the Stein and Jones study Effect of Driver Hours of Service on Tractor- Trailer Crash Involvement. Even according to Raymond Fuller whose work for the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences essentially supported industry initiatives in HOS changes, states that the late shift for truck drivers is characterized by a slight deterioration in rated performance, increases in drowsiness and exhaustion, more daydreaming in younger drivers (which may actually be an indication of lower level of alertness), and greater frequency of hallucinations. Even thought the drivers are hallucinating, Fuller claims, symptoms of deterioration are not represented by correlated increases in riskiness of vehicle-following performance. On page 9 Fuller states, "Eight or 9 hours of driving, then, appears to represent a threshold for fatigue effects in prolonged driving [emphasis in original]."
New HOS rules which allow companies to force drivers to spend less time away from home, off duty, and sleeping, and more time driving, would be unsafe and irresponsible. The only effective countermeasure to fatigue is sleep. In addition, the new HOS rules should institute mandatory breaks consistent with the Fair Labor Standard Act.
Duty Time Maximum
Off-duty Periods must Allow for Recovery from Cumulative Fatigue
The ANPRM asks, "What should be the maximum allowable continuous driving time to enhance safety based upon scientific data? Should the FHWA provide a maximum continuous on-duty time period (driving time and on-duty time) for safety purposes based upon scientific data?.... What should be the maximum cumulative on-duty time and the applicable time period for safety purposes? Should there be two different periods?.... What should the minimum consecutive off-duty time be for safety based upon scientific data?"
In studying the reactions of drivers, it is imperative to examine the events surrounding common accident-causing reactions. In order to produce telling results, these events cannot be unrealistic. A truck driver will react very differently in the beginning of a shift than he or she will after a 10 hour run, and even more differently after 20 hours with only a few hours rest and so on. The driver reactions get progressively slower and more hazardous.
FHWA must limit the on duty and driving time of truck drivers so that a driver shall not be required to work more than 12 consecutive hours and no more than 10 of those 12 hours shall be spent driving. This provision would actually increase the number of hours truck drivers can drive in a week, but give truck drivers more daily rest. It will place them on a safer working cycle consistent with circadian rhythms -- which strongly govern interstate truck crashdata -- and the need for rest time to restore driver alertness and vigilance. Again in support of this provision, National Master Freight Agreement states on page 13, "Drivers shall not be compelled to report for work at the home terminal until they have had ten hours off-duty time. The driver shall not be called or put to work before having eight hours off duty at the layover point."
A driver should be considered to be on duty whenever he or she is responsible for a load or a truck, is driving, is loading or unloading, is waiting for a load, or is waiting to be unloaded. The National Master Freight Agreement states on page 21 that, "A tour of duty for the purpose[s of these provisions] shall start from the time the employee reports to work until the time he is relieved of duty for a minimum period of eight hours."
A truck driver should have off-duty time following any shift on-duty such that the driver follows a schedule consistent with the circadian rhythm of the human body, which operates on a 24-hour clock. The new HOS rules should, with respect to on duty time, eliminating split shifts and promote schedules consistent with circadian rhythms and the diurnal cycle.
FHWA also asks in the ANPRM, "Based upon scientific data, should there be a re-start provision (i.e. a minimum number of continuous hours off duty to trigger a restart of the cumulative on duty time period)?"
To curb abuses of the on-call system, which causes fatigue among drivers before they ever reach the terminal, FHWA should form a new set of HOS rules which stipulate that truck drivers shall be available to go on duty only during a certain predetermined block of time after the last on-duty period. A driver will be able to work in reasonably regular shifts under this provision. Abuses of the on-call system, which can produce significant fatigue before work shifts, will be eliminated. This provision promotes consistency with circadian rhythms and adequate rest.
"Drivers who are off duty in the home terminal shall be notified between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., if they are to be expected to report for work between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., and provided further that the drivers who are off duty in the home terminal before 5 p.m. on Saturday who are called to work prior to 12 midnight Sunday shall be given not less than 6 hours notice when ordered to report for duty. Above schedule can be changed only by mutual agreement between [employee] and Employer.....
Truck drivers must be allowed under the HOS rules and company operating practices to take off-duty time approximately equivalent to an average weekend, during which a driver can recover from accumulated fatigue and safely return to work. Accumulated fatigue is dangerous. This provision provides a semblance of a weekend. In the present hours of service rules, there is no concept of a week or weekend, during which a driver can recover from the week's accumulated fatigue.
Loading and Unloading Freight
Requiring Unpaid Loading and Unloading of Drivers Paid by the Mile Causes Fatigue, Encourages Fatigued Driving and Speeding
FHWA asks in the ANPRM, "How should the loading and unloading of freight, lumping, and engaging in activities other than driving be addressed? How should situations where drivers encounter delays at shippers or consignees be considered in the proposal?"
According to Laurence R. Hartley, Ph.D, at the Second International Conference on Fatigue in Transportation, Fremantle, Western Australia, 1996, not only driving hours, but many other factors contribute to fatigue. "Limiting driving hours does not address all the other causes of fatigue." One of the other factors which contributes to fatigue is loading or unloading freight, or even waiting indefinitely to pull into a loading dock, or receive a call from a dispatcher on where to pick up a load. Hartley comments, "Limiting driving hours may not be the most cost effective solution to controlling fatigue although it may be the most practicable strategy to ensure that drivers have adequate time for continuous sleep during each 24 hour period."
Many truck drivers have brought to our attention the fact that, since they are paid by the mile and not by the hour, many of the hours they work go unpaid. During load and unload time, waiting for the next pickup, often drivers are forced to work or wait for work "on duty" without compensation. They then must drive too many hours to earn enough money from the miles covered.
The backdrop against which hours of service regulations must be reformed, then, is one in which companies routinely extort free labor from their drivers and manipulate them in the interest of "productivity" by offering economic incentives such as pay by the mile or pay by the load. The present compensation system for truck drivers taken together with hours of service regulations, are a formidable obstacle to the safe operation of commercial vehicles.
New HOS regulations should stipulate that carriers shall pay truck drivers by the hour when mileage pay is inappropriate yet the worker is still on duty. This change will reduce fatigue among truck drivers, remove economic incentives to speed or drive while tired, and promote safe driving practices among truck drivers. CRASH supports the language of the National Master Freight Agreement in this area, "On all runs or trips... drivers shall be paid for miles driven at the mileage rate (or hours, whichever is greater) plus the hourly rate for work time or an eight (8) hour guarantee at the hourly rate for all time spent whichever is greater....Time spent other than driving...shall include but not be limited to chaining time, tire changes, check and fuel time en route, loading and unloading [subject to the provision on loading and unloading below], waiting to load and/or unload, breakdown time, time lost due to impassable highways...." The mileage rates of pay for all miles driven under [these provisions] where such rate apply shall be: a) effective first day of employment - 85 percent of $0.4585 cents per mile [at average 50 mph, = 22.925/hour]; b) effective first day plus one year - 90 percent of $0.4585 cents per mile; c) effective first day plus 18 months - 100 percent of $0.4585 cents per mile"
C RASH also supports the following provisions of the National Master Freight Agreement (p.20) : "Effective October 1, 1994 all regular employees hired on or after that date shall receive the following hourly and/or mileage rates of pay: a) effective first day of employment - 75 percent of $17.35 [= $13.01]; b) effective first day plus one year - 80 percent of $17.35 [= $13.88]; c) effective first day plus 18 months - 90 percent of $17.35 [= $15.62]; d) effective first day plus two years - 100 percent of current rate [= $18.40]
FHWA must stipulate that employers may not require long-haul truck drivers to load or unload freight. Shippers and receivers are responsible for loading and counting freight. A long-haul truck driver may choose to unload or load freight at his or her hourly rate, but shall not be required to do so. This change will prevent fatigue and injury among truck drivers. The language of the National Master Freight Agreement further explains our position (p. 17): "In respect to drivers making pickups and/or deliveries at points en route and at intermediate terminals, drivers engaged in over-the-road operations, including operators of leased equipment and contract haulers, shall not be [compelled] to load or unload freight....Drivers may, however, be permitted to load or unload a partial load of freight on a through run where such drops or pick-ups are made outside the normal hours when the dock is operated."
There is a federal statute on loading and unloading of freight: 49 U.S.C. º 11109, which should be examined in the process of reviewing the current HOS rules. It reads as follows: "b) It shall be unlawful to coerce or attempt to coerce any person providing transportation of property by motor vehicle for compensation in interstate commerce (whether or not such transportation is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission under subchapter II of chapter 105 of this title [Motor Carrier Transportation, ºº 10521-0531]) to load or unload any part of such property onto or from such vehicle or to employ or pay one ore more persons to load or unload any part of such property onto or from such vehicle, except that this subsection shall not be construed as making unlawful any activity which is not unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act or the Act of March 23, 1932 (47 Stat. 70, 29 U.S.C. 101 et. seq.), commonly known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act."
A driver should be considered to be on duty whenever he or she is responsible for a load or a truck, is driving, is loading or unloading, is waiting for a load, or is waiting to be unloaded.
Trucking Companies, Shippers and Receivers Cannot be Trusted to Promote Compliance with HOS Rules
FHWA asks in the ANPRM, "What consequences, if any, should be imposed upon a shipper or consignee if a driver violates the HOS requirements due to the actions or demands of he shipper or consignee? Should the FHWA seek legislation from Congress to regulate shippers and consignees to prohibit them from making demands on a motor carrier and its drivers that would cause a violation of the HOS rules?"
A driver maintains multiple log books in order to have an accurate one for the purpose of receiving payment from his or her trucking company employer and another fictionalized one to show to highway patrol officers checking for driver compliance with HOS rules. Trucking companies are fully aware of this practice and must be forced to not only require but encourage employees to abide by the HOS rules which are there to protect the drivers' and motorists' health and safety.
An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of long-haul truck drivers driving from Spokane, Washington through points in Minnesota 1,200 miles away concluded that at least 58 percent of those truckers violated HOS rules. A 1987 survey of long haul truck drivers, sponsored by a trucking association, confirmed the Insurance Institute's findings. A majority of drivers surveyed in that study claimed that at least 70 percent of long haul drivers regularly exceed HOS regulations.
The 1987 driver survey was the second of several annual surveys designed and implemented by Dr. Richard Beilock of the University of Florida for the Regular Common Carrier Conference (RCCC), one of the associations which make up the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Each year, Dr. Beilock's team interviews 900 to 1,800 long haul drivers at several truck inspection stations in northern Florida. The results of the RCCC surveys are not unique to Florida; they are representative of long haul truck drivers throughout the United States.
In 1987 and 1988 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an independent agency set up by Congress to investigate and analyze transportation accidents and to issue safety recommendations, made a 12-month study in 8 states of trucking accidents that resulted in the driver's death. The NTSB examined the drivers' log books, when they were available, in an attempt to reconstruct how many hours the driver had been driving at the time of his or herfatal crash. The NTSB found the log books unreliable, however, and reported that, "...these entries were found in several cases to be inaccurate and to seriously understate the actual hours worked. Safety Board investigators reported use of multiple log books in a number of cases."
Given the track record of trucking companies with regard to respecting HOS rules, the performance of carriers with regard to the rules set out here must be monitored and enforced impartially and accurately. Record keeping of drivers on-duty and driving time must be automated to ensure full compliance by shippers, carriers, receivers, and drivers. Punishment for non-compliance with the Hours of Service rules should be sufficiently severe to ensure safe operating practices by carriers. Responsibility for implementing the new hours-of-service practices should in general fall on dispatchers, shippers, receivers, and carriers; as opposed to truck drivers themselves.
Truck drivers generally should not be blamed for the frightening number of highway accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers. It is the trucking industry pay schedules for long-haul truckers which encourage violations of hours of service rules and therefore implicitly sanction fatigued driving. Frequently, the schedules imposed on drivers by trucking companies can be met only by speeding, forgoing stops to make repairs or conduct safety checks, violating hours of service rules, and driving fatigued. The trucking industry must take responsibility for crashes caused by driver fatigue and cease dismissing them as cases of mere "driver error" which the company could not have foreseen or controlled.
The astoundingly high turn-over rate in the industry reveals that, instead of improving job conditions for drivers by allowing them more rest, trucking companies fall back on a large cheap labor pool to fill the positions left open through attrition - attrition which, we may add, is often due to death on the job as a result of severe cumulative fatigue (749 professional truck drivers died on the job in 1995 alone). This is the formula used to disregard the safety concerns of their drivers -- indeed, to pretend that their drivers, and the operating practices of the companies, are at fault -- and single-mindedly pursue increases in profits. The FHWA says that the process of revising current HOS regulations should in the short term change HOS rules to enhance safety. In the long term, it "should being a transformation of the HOS regulations n to a combination of a new performance-based regulatory scheme which would address driver alertness and fitness for duty. Use of such a performance-based system could be voluntary." CRASH's view is that trucking companies should be required to make their existing trucks as safe as possible and to encourage drivers to report safety concerns, before even considering allowing them more flexibility in their use of and control over drivers.
CRASH is concerned that performance standard analyses will assume idealized companies in idealized conditions. Given the record in enforcing current hours of service laws, there is not much reason to expect performance standards enforcement to be anything but more difficult. Certainly, before any performance-based review is instituted, shippers, receivers and carriers should be required to post in a prominent place Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistant Act of 1982 as it is presented in OSHA poster 3113. Requirement to post Section 405 of the STAA will help to minimize abuses by employers that result in unsafe operating practices, especially with regard to the safety of commercial truck drivers themselves.
Compliance of Companies must Be Ensured
FHWA asks in the ANPRM, "How should the HOS regulatory compliance be measured or monitored? Who should monitor HOS regulatory compliance? How should HOS regulatory compliance be verified? Should the FHWA require on-board monitoring devices or other electronic methods (e.g. global positioning systems)?"
The current HOS rules prohibit drivers from driving more than 10 hours since the last extended rest of 8 hours duration, and being on duty more than 15 hours since the last extended rest of 8 hours duration. But HOS rules are frequently ignored by long-haul trucking companies.
The new HOS rules must be able to be impartially and accurately monitored and enforced and driver compliance must be easily verifiable without potential for fraud, such as falsified written log books. At the very least, this means that hours of service must be automatically recorded while on duty, following the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety/ Insurance Institute for Highway Safety petition for on-board recorders granted by FHWA, which is being addressed by an study in progress by UMTRI through a contract with the National Private Truck Council. Moreover, in assessing accident data analysis, it is imperative to consider the incentive to trucking companies to falsify accident reports.
Long haul trucking companies should be required to install on-board recording devices in their tractors so that companies can monitor, and are in turn responsible for, driver compliance with HOS rules. Trucking companies should be required to report driver non-compliance. Drivers should be required to report pressure from their employers to not comply with HOS rules. Trucking company HOS compliance records should be audited periodically to ensure their accuracy. Trucking company schedules should also be audited periodically to ensure that they can be met without violating HOS rules. There should be stiff penalties for violations.
Studying fatigue would be inconsequential without involving the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research. The sleep disorders field has done extensive research into the effects of fatigue and sleep apnea. As previously described, a driver cannot adequately rest under current regulations--the driver has to take care of all business (such as calling home, eating, bathing, finances, etc.) and sleep within the allotted time.
Under the new HOS rules, there should be periodic investigations of dispatchers, shippers and receivers. Truck drivers are frequently fired because they refused to drive fatigued and it is common knowledge that log books are falsified in the interest of time. Truck drivers themselves should be specifically surveyed about fatigue and the real pressures they face on the road. According to the study Working Conditions of Drivers in Road Transport by Commission of European Communities Medical and Public Health Research Programme, ACtes Inrets No. 23, October 1989, "When asked if their work interfered with their social lives, 54 percent of the [truck] drivers felt they spent too little time at home, 90 percent considered they had problems with their partner [sic] as a direct result of long working-hours, and 23 percent said they had problems with their children.... 60 percent of drivers fell asleep while driving; 7 percent had an accident from falling asleep." "Changing the working conditions of...drivers to a more 'normal' job must be the aim for the near future. At the moment a driver works almost two 40 hour jobs in one week. This must be done by diminishing actual working hours to a more socially accepted level e.g. by organizing the work more efficiently and dividing the work more evenly among all drivers."
Studies of fatigue among professional truck drivers should include an examination of irregular sleep patterns as well as inverted sleep patterns. As stated above, in a 1995 study on fatigue, NTSB reported that of the 107 drivers investigated, about 67 percent of drivers with irregular sleep patterns had fatigue related accidents. And 94 percent of drivers with inverted sleep patterns had fatigue related accidents. The New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research reported in a December 1994 study that two-thirds of fall-asleep crashes involved collision with fixed object, compared to 12 percent of all crashes with fixed object. Also, three quarters of fall-asleep crashes involved only a single vehicle compared to 25 percent of all crashes.
The maneuvers or even presence of big trucks seem to cause automobile drivers to fearfully or rashly change lanes or pass a truck without enough of a lead. Truck drivers must in turn anticipate the automobile maneuver in order to react with enough time. A "successful" (one that avoids and does not cause any collisions) reaction on the part of either driver is contingent upon vehicle reactions as well. Therefore, driver and vehicle reactions must be tested in real-world situations, with a close examination of how the two impact each other.
According to Federal Highway Administration's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on HOS of November 5 of this year the ICC Termination Act of 1995 included a mandate for FHWA to revisit HOS regulations. This mandate was issued in the context of legislation requiring the FHWA "to ensure the development, coordination, and preservation of a transportation system that meets the needs of the United States."
The Transportation Policy enacted through the ICC Termination Act places responsibility on FHWA to "1. Promote safe, adequate, economical and efficient transpiration," and "2. Encourage sound economic conditions in transportation, including sound economic conditions among carriers." Most of the other priorities are centered around promoting efficiency and productivity in the motor carrier transportation system. Safety activists must not be lulled into complacency, it seems, by safety appearing at the top of the list of priorities. Indeed, FHWA states up front in the ANPRM that, "The FHWA has much broader responsibilities under the Act than it had in the past. The FHWA's major focus has been , and will continue to be on, motor carrier safety, but now the FHWA must consider the economic vitality and productivity of the motor carrier industry in its economic regulation of motor carriers, drivers, and CMVs [Commercial Motor Vehicles]...."
The agency is addressing the reform of Hours of Service regulations without proper context. The trucking industry is only one of many industries that require shift work of its employees, and it is the problems and solutions that have been developed in these parallel cases that should form the context within which FHWA considers HOS reform. FHWA's citations in the ANPRM, however, make clear that major relevant considerations bearing on HOS are being left out: for instance, many other, even recent, studies directly involving commercial driver chronobiology and task performance are not listed or even mentioned; other studies involving passenger vehicle driver fatigue and issue of shift work and circadian asynchrony are omitted; parallel regulations and current rulemaking actions for HOS amendment in other transportation modes receive no mention whatever.
As an example of the latter, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has tried to apply the findings on circadian disruptions and time-on-task performance decrements generated by Mark Rosekind's NASA fatigue management program to propose significant changes to flightcrew HOS standards. In general, these are important efforts to protect flightcrew member rest time from management encroachment, offset circadian asynchrony better that the current regulations, allow for more recovery time, and supply compensatory rest time for necessary abbreviation of time off to respond to "emergency" flight needs. Also note the concept of standby and reserve time -- the opposite of the binary approach to work/rest cycles suggested in the ANPRM.
In addition, there are hundreds of studies of shift work (some of which we will be able to mention in these comments), including those involving factory workers, health care providers, and others, which demonstrate not only the adverse safety consequences, but also the bad health effects, of excessive work load and circadian asynchrony coming from inverted shifts. These are extensive health insults (gastrointestinal, coronary-pulmonary, etc.) And there are also negative social outcomes for these shift workers in that their family lives are disrupted or destroyed.
Yet these kinds of parallel health issues in other industries are not recognized by FHWA as bearing on the question of HOS reform. This is despite the fact that the agency must regulate, under the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984, in a way that protects and enhances the health and safety of commercial motor vehicle drivers. There is a statutory charge to the agency to consider the effects of new HOS not just on industry productivity and highway safety, but also the health of truck drivers themselves. The latter issue is neglected in the ANPRM and must be addressed by FHWA.
1.R. Beilock, "1988 RCCC Motor Carrier Safety Survey," Regular Common Carrier Conference, Alexandria, Virginia, 1989.
2.R.R. Mackie and J.L. Miller, "Effects of Hours of Service Regularity of Schedules and Cargo]Loading on truck and Bus Driver Fatigue," DOT-HS-803-799, Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C., 1979.
3.I.S. Jones and H.S. Stein, "Effect of Driver Hours of Service on Tractor Trailer Crash Involvement," Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Virginia, 1987, p. 16.
4.P. Hamelin, "Truck Driver Involvement in traffic Accidents as Related to their Shiftworks and Professional Features," Proceedings of the OECD Symposium on the Role of Heavy Freight Vehicles in Traffic Accidents, Ottawa, Canada: Organization for economic Cooperation and Development, 1987, Vol. 2, pp. 3-107.
5.National Transportation Safety Board, "Safety Study: Fatigue, Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Medical Factors in Fatal-to-the-Driver Heavy Truck Crashes," Report No. NTSC/SS-90/01, Volume 1, p. 78, February 1990.
6.American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, "A Report on the Determination and Evaluation of the Role of Fatigue in Heavy Truck Accidents." Fall Church, Virginia, 1985.
7.Jones, Ian and Howard Stein criticize this study in their report, Effect of Driver Hours of Service on Tractor-Trailer Crash Involvement, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, September, 1987, p. 2.
8.R. Beilock, "1988 RCCC Motor Carrier Safety Survey," Regular Common Carrier Conference, Alexandria, Virginia, 1989, p. 35. The question asked of the drivers was: "In your opinion, what percent of truck crashes are caused by driver fatigue?"
9.H.S. Stein, "Comparison of OMC Accident Data with Independent Data From Washington State," As Part of OMC Contract DTFH61-88-2-00094: Accident Reporting System Augmentation, Task E, Feasibility of Expanded Safetynet Accident Module, Reston Virginia, December 1989, p. 9.
10.Trucking Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations Foundation, Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study, Technical Summary, FHWA Report No. FHWA-MC-97-001, November 1996.
11.Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., Impact of Implementing a Maximum Duty Tour Limit in Hours of Service Regulations, FHWA, BMCS, November 23, 1981. Emphasis on p.3 is 8 options of time based on combos of tour max. of 15m 18, 21, and 24 hours; driving shift limits of 10 and 12 hours, the point being that duty tour limits below 15 hours are overly constraining on trucking industry. On p. 5 their analysis points out that savings from increase to 12 hours is 8 times savings in 10 hours, but there is a safety penalty, although "small."
12.Commercial Driver Fatigue Data Collection, Analysis, and Countermeasure Plans, Essex Corp., Contract DTFH61-89-C-00096. The study is described on p. 3 as a methodology involving "semi-controlled experiments in the real-world operating environment." On p.9 the authors admit that "[There] is the concern that when humans know they are participating in an experiment they somehow cease performing in the way they normally do, and start performing in a way that they perceive as appropriate for pleasing (or antagonizing!) the experimenter. For short- term experiments, of the kind typically performed in the laboratory, this may be something of a real concern. In multi-day experiments of the type to be performed in this study, we feel that any such effects will quickly dissipate after the first day or two of operations. The novelty of the experimental procedures wears off and the driving routine again becomes just that -- routine. We believe that prior research both on truck drivers and other personnel whose jobs demand high level sustained alertness (e.g. military security guards) testifies to the fact that the 'guinea pig' effect is short-lived." This is a highly presumptuous attempt to downplay the lack of double-blind procedure in this study, one of the fundamental flaws that characterizes its conformity with industry interests.
13.Contributed by Burns, Jeffrey A., J.D., Kansas City, Missouri, January 13, 1997.
14.Neal, Robert J., S.D., Gary A. McCaskill, S.A., "Special Study: Correlation Between Driver Compensation Systems and Speeding, Following too Close, Improper Lane Changes, Aggressive Driving, Hostile Acts, Improperly Maintained Equipment, and Damaged Highways Duty to Overloaded Vehicles," Roanoke, Virginia, October 22, 1993, pp. 1-5.
16.The 1989 Regular Common Carrier Conference (RCCC) trucking association found that 95 percent of long-haul driver were paid by the miles driven or by the load; only 5 percent by the hour. R. Beilock, 1989 Motor Carrier Safety Study, RCCC, Alexandria, VA, 1990, p.4. The 1987 survey found that 93 percent were paid by the mile or load: 60 percent were paid by the miles driven and 33 percent by the load. Ibid, 1987 Motor Carrier Safety Survey, RCCC, Alexandria, VA, 1988.
17.See Beilock, Richard, "Schedule-Induced Hours-of-Service and Speed Limit Violations Among Tractor-Trailer Drivers," Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1995, pp. 33-42. Used self-reported data from 498 drivers; at 55 mph, 16 percent drivers with violation-inducing schedules. Solo drivers, drivers hauling reefers, regular route drivers, longer current trip distances most likely to have violation-inducing schedules. Average driver estimated to drive 46 hours week, total 58 hours worked. On p. 33 Beilock reports drivers most frequently rated unreasonable schedules by dispatchers and shippers re: contributory factors to driver fatigue problem.
18.Labbe, Martin of Martin Labbe Associates, 1995, cited in Trucker News, 1997.
19.U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS), 1995.
20.Excerpts from the National Master Freight Agreement, Western States Area Supplemental Agreements, Part III, Over-the-Road Motor Freight Supplemental Agreement Covering Drivers Employed by Private, Common and Contract Carriers for the Period of April 1994 thru March 31, 1998.
22.American Trucking Associations, "Team 2000" brochure, 1996.
23.Williams, Gary, truck driver, 1,500,000 safe miles, Riverside, California, September 1996.
24.Trucking and Transport Leasing, September 20, 1996, p. 265.
26.Raymond Fuller, Prolonged Heavy Vehicle Driving Performance: Effects of Unpredictable Shift Onset and Duration and Convoy vs. Independent Driving Conditions, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Tech. Report 585, September 1983. Abstract: "Symptoms of fatigue were most typical of the end of the driving shift, becoming evident from about the 9th hour of driving, and were particularly characteristic of older drivers on a shift finishing at 02.30 hours. Nevertheless the requirement to drive 11 hours per day for 4 consecutive days did not lead to conspicuous deterioration in driving performance under normal driving conditions. Even under continuous convoy driving such prolonged work did not produce impairment but elicited compensatory adjustments toward the end of the late shift." At p. 9: "Eight or 9 hours of driving, then, appears to represent a threshold for fatigue effects in prolonged driving [emphasis in original]."
27.Tzuoo-Ding Lin, et al., "Time of Day Models of Motor Carrier Accident Risk," TRB No. 94- 0741, rev. November 1993. Abstract: "Driving time has the strongest direct effect on accident risk. The first four hours consistently have the lowest accident risk and are indistinguishable from each other. Accident risk increases significantly after the fourth hour, by approximately 50 percent or more, until the seventh hour. The eighth and ninth hours show a further increase, approximately 80 percent and 130 percent higher than the first four hours."
28.Ian Jones and Howard Stein, Effect of Driver Hours of Service on Tractor-Trailer Crash Involvement, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, September 1987. This study tries to account for differences in fleet size, road conditions, and equipment defects. These are variables mostly ignored in other studies. On p. 11 they state, "Ten percent of crash involved drivers had exceeded eight hours of driving compared to 6 percent of drivers in the comparison sample, so that the risk for drivers exceeding eight hours relative to drivers driving less than two hours was 1.8. On p. 12 they state, "In addition to driving hours, time of day could also affect crash involvement. For example, a driver approaching the end of his allowable hours may experience more fatigue at night than during the day..." It is clear that drivers on the road for more than eight hours have a higher crash involvement irrespective of the time of day: "[T]he risk of involvement in a multiple vehicle crash is highest for those drivers who have spent more that [sic] eight hours behind the wheel." p. 15: "In 10 percent of crash-involved tractor- trailers, the drivers had exceeded eight hours behind the wheel. Because the data were collected by asking the driver how long he had been driving, these estimates of driving hours are probably very conservative." Please note that all of drivers over 8 hours would continue to drive, none had reached destination. p. 16: "[T]he relative risk of crash involvement for drivers driving more than eight hours is almost twice that for drivers with fewer hours behind the wheel. This increase in relative risk confirms earlier work by Mackie and Miller, which reported that risk of accident increased after five-six hours for drivers on irregular schedules and eight and one-half hours for drivers on regular schedules." pp. 17-18: "The results of this study show clearly that truck drivers who have been driving long hours or have logbook violations have in [sic] increased risk of crash involvement. It is also evident that interstate drivers, who are likely to drive long hours, have higher crash risk compared to intrastate drivers."
29.Fuller, Raymond Prolonged Heavy Vehicle Driving Performance: Effects of Unpredictable Shift Onset and Duration and Convoy vs. Independent Driving Conditions, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Tech. Report 585, September 1983.
30.Gene Griffen, et al., Evaluation of the Impact of Changes in the Hours of Service Regulations on Efficiency, Drivers, and Safety, ND State U., The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, No. 93, October 1992. Study supports 24-hour restart, which CRASH has successfully fought at the state level for years. The study weighs productivity gains heavily in cost-benefit analysis; weights safety of truck drivers and motorists lightly. Summary and Conclusions (p. 1) "assumes that drivers spend as much time at home after the rule change[.]" yet on the same page asserts that "drivers . . . typically out for two weeks or more at a time would experience significant increases in equipment utilization." Improvement would come by "drivers not having to stay off-duty for 48 or more hours . . ."
31.Williamson, Ann, et al., Strategies to Combat Fatigue in the Long Distance Road Transport Industry - Stage 1: The Industry Perspective, Australian Federal Office of Road Safety, CR 108, May 1992. On p.2 she states that driver fatigue is a major problem and that all groups support better training and education about fatigue, road improvements, improved off-road facilities, great working hours flexibility, staged driving, reduced economic pressure on drivers, more efficient loading and unloading. On p. 3 she emphasizes that most drivers regarded fatigue as major problem. "Typically, drivers reported feeling fatigued by the 14th hour of driving and most particularly in the early hours of the morning. Similarly, most drivers reported that fatigue adversely affected their driving by making them slower to react and producing poorer steering and gear changing." Driver beliefs about reasons for fatigued driving: dawn driving, poor roads, long driving hours, loading requirements, poor weather.
32.See Notes 21, 22, 23.
33.On the importance of maintaining shifts consistent with circadian rhythms, see Harris (1977) showing that twice as many crashes occur between midnight and 8 am as in the rest of the day, and half of all crashes occur in the early morning hours. Mackie and Miller in Effects of Hours of Service Regularity of Schedules, and Cargo Loading on Truck and Bus Driver Fatigue, DOT HS- 5-01142, October 1978, show that driver operating on irregular schedules have worse symptoms of fatigue, physiological stress, and "performance degradation" than truck drivers who work similar hours on a regular schedule. See also Kenneth Campbell, Ph.D., "Evidence of Fatigue and The Circadian Rhythm in the Accident Experience," UMTRI. Also see Robert Mackie, Ph.D., "Behavioral Aspects of Truck and Bus Driver Fatigue," Essex Corporation.
35.See Tetsuya Kaneko and Paul Jovanis, Multiday Driving Patterns and Motor Carrier Accident Risk: A Disaggregate Analysis, U. of Cal. Davis, Research Report UCD-TRG-RR-90- 9, April 1990. This study was funded by Yellow Freight Lines. First study to quantify effect of different distinct multi-day driving patterns on accident risk. p. 1: Exec. Summary: "[D]riving patterns over the previous seven days significantly affect accident risk on the eighth day. In general, driving during afternoon and evening hours (e.g. noon to midnight) has the highest accident risk while driving during night and morning hours (e.g. midnight to noon) has lower risk. Consecutive hours driven also has a significant effect on accident risk: the first hours of driving and the ninth and tenth hour of driving have the highest risk. . . Driver age and hours off-duty immediately prior to a trip do not appear to affect accident risk significantly." p. 2: Declines in performance as measured by accident risk are used as the measure of the quality of the driving task. The study discriminates the separate effects of declined performance due to extended continuous driving, cumulative driving over several days, circadian effects and sleep deprivation. The study is flawed, however, in that the authors used driver daily logs as sole data source; without, apparently, verifying them for accuracy. Also, the authors state on p.10: "As the carrier does take reasonable steps to adhere to USDOT service hour regulations, the vast majority of drivers in the study can be considered as operating within legal duty hour limits." This statement begs the question and is patently false. For an example of trucking companyÍs trustworthiness, see infra Note 9.
36.Hartley, Laurence R., Ph.D., Management of Fatigue in the Road Transport Industry. Recommendations From the Second International Conference on Fatigue in Transportation, Fremantle, Western Australia, 1996.
37.Excerpted from the National Master Freight Agreement, Western States Area SupplementalAgreements, Part III, Over-the-Road Motor Freight Supplemental Agreement Covering Drivers Employed by Private, Common and Contract Carriers for the Period of April 1994 thru March 31, 1998.
38.R.P. Hertz of Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, "The Prevalence of Hours of Service Violations Among Tractor Trailer Drivers," 33rd Annual Proceedings, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, October 2-4, 199, Baltimore, Maryland.
39.The drivers interviewed for the 1987 survey were based in 41 states and the province of Ontario; at the times of their interviews they were en route to all 48 contiguous states, Washington D.C., and all 10 Canadian provinces. In the 1989 survey, only 22 percent of the surveyed drivers were based in Florida and fewer than 13 percent were en route to Florida destinations. National Transportation Safety Board, "Safety Study: Fatigue, Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Medical Factors in Fatal-to-the-Driver Heavy Truck Crashes," Report No. NTSC/SS-90/01, Volume 1, p. 78, February 1990.
40.U.S. Department of Labor, 1995 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Washington D.C., 1996.
41.Dr. William Dement, Director, 701 Welch Road, Number 2226, Palo Alto, CA, 94304.
42.Contribution of Donaldson, Gerald A., Ph.D., Washington D.C., March 19, 1997.
43.Working Conditions of Drivers in Road Transport, Commission of European Communities Medical and Public Health Research Programme, ACtes Inrets No. 23, October 1989, Freek van Ouwerkerk, "Working Hours of European International Truck-Drivers," pp. 13, 32-33.
44.Ibid, p. 34.
45.Freek van Ouwerkerk, Working Hours of European International Truck Drivers, Foundation for Traffic Safety and Scientific Research, May 29, 1988. While this study surveyed Dutch, German, Belgian, French, Danish drivers, and a very few Italian drivers, these comments apply to American truck drivers as well.
47.New York State Task Force on the Impact of Fatigue on Driving, New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, December 1994, p.2.
49.See, for instance, Railroad Safety: Human Factor Accidents and Issues Affecting Engineer Work Schedules, U.S. General Accounting Office, GAO/RCED-93-160BR, July 1993, which showed that "the variability of work shift start times was quite pronounced for engineers who worked during early morning hours, and research links such variable schedules to increased fatigue," p.2.
50.Donaldson, Gerald A., Ph.D., Washington D.C., March 13, 1997.