Drivers to earn $2,000+ for taking part in FMCSA restart study

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to recruit truck drivers and carriers who are willing to participate in a Driver Restart Study to be led by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Do you drive at night? Work more than 60 hours a week? Use the restart provision? Take one night restarts at least some of the time? If so, you may be eligible to participate. 

Volunteers are now welcome to sign up. Those who are interested in participating in this study or would like to learn more may visitwww.restartstudy.com. Registration must be completed by March 31.

In what is being called the largest truck driver study of its kind, Blacksburg-based VTTI is taking a new look at the impacts of restart breaks on commercial drivers’ safety performance and fatigue levels as a part of a new study for the FMCSA.

In the $4 million study, the institute’s Center for Truck and Bus Safety will track and compare truck driver fatigue and safety performance levels for drivers who take two nighttime rest periods during their 34-hour restart break, as under the 2013 rule, and for drivers who take less than two nighttime rest periods during their restart break.

The 2015 DOT funding appropriation suspended two provisions of the current hours of service (HOS) rule, pending completion of the driver restart study. 


Supporters in Congress argued that the restart requirement adopted in 2013 disrupts some drivers’ sleep routines and puts more trucks on the road during the morning rush hour, and that FMCSA had little evidence to support the need for such a requirement.

Drivers are being recruited from small, medium, and large fleets across a variety of operations – long-haul, short-haul, and regional – to help ensure statistically significant results. 

The research plan also involves including a variety of haul types in the study, including flat-bed, refrigerated, tanker, and dry-van trailers. 

The research study will be conducted on-the-job for five months. Drivers will be compensated up to or more than $2,000 for their participation.

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