Hours of Service

Is your Truck Putting You to Sleep?

A ground-breaking bit of research from Australia has shown that low-frequency vibrations can make drivers drowsy. If this is true and the research is proven conclusive, it will call into question just about all we assume about truck crashes where the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Those drivers may in fact have been very drowsy but may not have been "fatigued" in an hours-of-service (HOS) context, the way that term is typically applied to "tired drivers."

Some personal questions about personal conveyance

Recently, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued revised guidance on the use of a commercial vehicle as a personal conveyance. While it’s always great to have further clarification of the rules, especially surrounding hours of service, sometimes these clarifications can generate more questions than answers. Such as is the case with FMCSA’s guidance. There are two situations that haven’t yet been addressed, not because administration doesn’t care, but because they’re slightly outside of its purview. One situation involves cross-border carriers that may have drivers using personal conveyance on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, and another issue that surprisingly has very little to do with hours of service.

U.S. proposal would pause 14-hour limits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recently proposed bill in the U.S. would allow truck drivers to effectively pause their 14-hour on-duty limits for up to three consecutive hours – as long as they are off-duty during the break. “I’m proud to introduce the REST Act and give America’s truckers the options they need to safely operate under today’s rigid federal regulations,” said Rep. Brian Babin, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “This bill is an important step in making the way for improved highway safety.” According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, those running in the U.S. can't drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on-duty, following 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time.