In July 2013 new hours of service regulations entered into force in the United States. The rule change was based on a regulatory impact analysis conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Unfortunately the analysis of the FMCSA has several shortcomings. It does not consider the fact that motor carriers can optimise routes and schedules to mitigate the cost impact of a regulatory change and it does not consider the effect of cumulative sleep loss. We analysed how reducing the daily driving time limit would impact operational costs and road safety considering these issues. Based on a detailed model of the new regulation and a new simulation-based method to assess the impact of hours of service regulations we found that reducing the daily driving time limit to at most 10 hours would reduce accident risks by around 5% while transportation costs would increase by less than 1%. Reducing the daily driving time limit to 9 hours would reduce accident risks by up to 10% and increase transportation costs by less than 2%. Considering these findings, it may be necessary to reconsider whether the daily driving time limit should be reduced or not.
- Asvin Goel, Hours of service regulations in the Unites States and the 2013 rule change, Technical report No. 29, Jacobs University, 2013
- David Cullen, Putting math to work to cut HOS impact, Fleet Owner, August 7, 2013