Journal of Transportation Management


Since driver fatigue has known to be the primary cause of serious truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has attempted to implement new hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that aimed to promote safer driving environments. The new HOS regulations effective on October T‘ of2005, however, may lead to substantial cost increases for the trucking industry which will in turn hurt shippers and ultimately customers. For instance, motor carriers may need to hire additional drivers to comply with new HOS regulations requiring that drivers be placed out of service until they accumulated enough off-duty time. In particular, off-duty breaks required to refresh driving hours were increased to 10 consecutive hours from the old rule of eight cumulative hours. A chronic shortage of truck drivers coupled with new HOS regulations could further aggravate the driver recruitment and retention problems. In addition, due to potential loading/unloading delays and stiffer fines /penalties resulting from new HOS regulations, trucking productivity may decline. To help trucking firms cope with various challenges of new HOS regulations, this paper provides a systematic overview of prior literature that examines the impact of HOS on transportation productivity and safety in the U.S. It also discusses managerial implications of new HOS regulations.