Restorative Rest for Motorcoach Drivers

The objective of this project was to determine how much restorative rest is needed for motorcoach drivers. The study analyzed the relationships between time off duty and sleep. This was a re-analysis of the motorcoach driver sleep and performance data that were collected for the study entitled “Motorcoach Driver Fatigue Study, 2011” (Belenky et al., 2012). The original motorcoach driver fatigue study analyzed data from 84 commercial motorcoach drivers and collected continuous sleep, work, performance, and fatigue data for each driver for approximately 1 month. Drivers were recruited from across the United States and from a range of motorcoach operations (i.e., regular route, tour, charter, and commuter express). The purpose of the motorcoach driver fatigue study was to assess the degree to which active motorcoach drivers push the limits of motorcoach hours-of-service (HOS) regulations and, as a result, expose themselves to less-than-24-hour duty/rest cycles-cycles that would entail getting up earlier and earlier each day, likely restricting their sleep and impairing their performance. The study found no evidence that the participating motorcoach drivers exposed themselves to non-24-hour duty/rest cycles. Duty start times were clustered in the morning, indicating that duty days were synchronized to the circadian rhythm. The aim of the present study was to characterize the relationship between off-duty time and sleep using the data collected in the original study. The study attempted to answer the following research questions: (1) How much sleep do motorcoach drivers obtain given the amount of time they have off between shifts? (2) How much time off between shifts do motorcoach drivers need to ensure that they are able to get 7-8 hours of sleep in each 24-hour period? The re-analysis expanded upon the original motorcoach driver fatigue study by examining sleep in any given 24-hour period as a function of off-duty time during the same 24-hour period. A final report describing study findings is pending publication.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $175,000
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Hallquist, Theresa

  • Performing Organizations:

    Washington State University

    PO Box 646210
    Pullman, Washington  United States  99164-6210
  • Start Date: 20140900
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190329
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160300

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01592630
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2016 4:48PM