Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-10-009
Details
Synopsis: On June 26, 2009, a multivehicle accident occurred on Interstate 44 (I-44) near Miami, Oklahoma, shortly after a minor accident in the same vicinity occurred. The minor accident took place about 1:13 p.m., when a 2001 Ford Focus traveling eastbound at milepost 321.7 on I-44 drifted into a truck-tractor semitrailer parked on the right shoulder. After the Focus sideswiped the semitrailer, the car’s driver overcorrected to the left, lost control, and struck the concrete center median barrier. The Focus came to rest in the roadway, blocking the left eastbound lane. As the trailing traffic began to slow and stop, it formed a queue. Several motorists exited their vehicles and began to push the disabled Focus to the right shoulder. The queue of stopped vehicles and approaching but slowing vehicles extended back from the accident site approximately 1,500 feet to about milepost 321.5. Meanwhile, about 1:19 p.m., a 76-year-old truck driver operating a 2008 Volvo truck-tractor in combination with an empty 2009 Great Dane refrigerated semitrailer was traveling eastbound in the outside (right) lane of I-44 at approximately 69 mph. (The posted speed limit was 75 mph.) The truck driver did not react to the queue of slowing and stopped vehicles and collided with the rear of a 2003 Land Rover sport utility vehicle (SUV). As both vehicles moved forward, the Land Rover struck a 2003 Hyundai Sonata and then departed the right lane and shoulder, coming to rest off the roadway. The Volvo continued forward, struck and overrode the Hyundai Sonata, struck and overrode a 2004 Kia Spectra, and then struck the rear of a 2000 Ford Windstar minivan. The Volvo overrode a portion of the Windstar while pushing it into the rear of a livestock trailer being towed by a 2004 Ford F350 pickup truck. The Ford pickup truck was pushed forward and struck a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. The Volvo combination unit came to rest approximately 270 feet past the point where it initially struck the Land Rover. As a result of the Volvo combination unit’s striking the slowed and stopped vehicle queue on I-44, 10 passenger vehicle occupants died, 5 received minor-to-serious injuries, and the driver of the Volvo combination unit was seriously injured.1 The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was the Volvo truck driver’s fatigue, caused by the combined effects of acute sleep loss, circadian disruption associated with his shift work schedule, and mild sleep apnea, which resulted in the driver’s failure to react to slowing and stopped traffic ahead by applying the brakes or performing any evasive maneuver to avoid colliding with the traffic queue. Contributing to the severity of the accident were the Volvo truck-tractor combination unit’s high impact speed and its structural incompatibility with the passenger vehicles.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Miami, OK, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY09MH015
Accident Reports: Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Rear-End Collision Into Passenger Vehicles on Interstate 44
Report #: HAR-10-02
Accident Date: 6/26/2009
Issue Date: 10/21/2010
Date Closed: 12/6/2017
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FMCSA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Fatigue

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 3/6/2019
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “Notice of application for exemption; request for comments,” which was published in 84 Federal Register 2304, on February 6, 2019. The request was made by several associations on behalf of drivers who transport livestock, insects, and aquatic animals. The groups have requested an exemption from certain provisions in the hours-of-service (HOS) rules to allow their drivers, after 10 consecutive hours off duty to: (1) drive through the 16th consecutive hour after coming on duty; and (2) drive a total of 15 hours during that 16-hour period. For the reasons outlined below, the NTSB believes that the FMCSA should deny this requested exemption, and any similar exemptions, to the HOS rules. In our 2010 report of the 2009 truck rear-end collision into passenger vehicles in Miami, Oklahoma, which was caused by driver fatigue, we concluded that, “The use of fatigue management programs by motor carriers has the potential to reduce accidents caused by fatigued commercial drivers.”4 The NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation H-08-14 and made a new Safety Recommendation H-10-9 to the FMCSA, calling on it to, “Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment.” In its September 1, 2011, response to this recommendation, the FMCSA indicated that, before mandating the use of fatigue management programs, a nonregulatory approach should be tried. The FMCSA stated that it would continue to encourage carriers to implement such programs on a voluntary basis. On March 28, 2012, the NTSB reclassified Safety Recommendation H-10-9 “Open—Unacceptable Response,” pending the FMCSA’s requiring that all motor carriers adopt a fatigue management program based on NAFMP guidelines. In 2012, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation H-10-9 in two reports in which the probable cause was attributed to driver fatigue: (1) the March 2011 motorcoach run-off-the-road and collision with a vertical highway signpost in New York City, New York, and (2) the May 2011 motorcoach roadway departure and overturn in Doswell, Virginia.5 In the Doswell report, the NTSB stated that, “Although some carriers will adopt fatigue management programs to improve the safety of their operations, many will not. In fact, those carriers with the weakest safety management—that is, the operations that most need a fatigue management program—are the least likely to implement one.” Also, in light of the initial progress the FMCSA had made on developing the NAFMP and assessing its utility, the NTSB reclassified Safety Recommendation H-08-14 “Closed—Acceptable Action/Superseded” and recommended that the FMCSA, “Establish an ongoing program to monitor, evaluate, report on, and continuously improve fatigue management programs implemented by motor carriers to identify, mitigate, and continuously reduce fatigue-related risks for drivers” (Safety Recommendation H-12-29).

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 12/6/2017
Response: Our intent in issuing this recommendation was for all active interstate motor carriers to be required to use a fatigue-management program. We are disappointed that you continue to promote a voluntary adoption policy that will not adequately address the problem of fatigued drivers and will continue to result in preventable catastrophic crashes. Because you intend to take no further action to implement the recommended mandate, Safety Recommendation H-10-9 is classified CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/6/2017
Response: -From Michael Jordan, Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Report: Investigation - Miami, Oklahoma (2009-06-26) Current Classification: Open - Unacceptable Response Requested Classification: Closed • In a status update dated January 28, 2016, FMCSA outlined that the rulemaking required by this safety recommendation would be significant and difficult to implement; however, NTSB maintained its classification of “Open - Unacceptable Response” in its response on July 21, 2016. • FMCSA’s position regarding the recommended requirement (i.e., rulemaking) for all motor carriers to adopt the NAFMP has not changed. • FMCSA will continue to encourage motor carriers to voluntarily take advantage of the tools and training offered on the NAFMP Web site. • FMCSA plans no further action to implement the recommended action via rulemaking. • FMCSA requests NTSB close safety recommendation H-10-009.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 7/21/2016
Response: Although we commend your efforts to collaboratively develop a comprehensive NAFMP, we remain concerned that your voluntary adoption policy will not adequately address the problem of fatigued drivers and that we will continue to see preventable catastrophic crashes. We are aware of your efforts to develop a “Beyond Compliance” program to encourage motor carriers to adopt safety technologies and management practices, and we urge you to reconsider your position and explore all possible means to mandate, or even encourage by alternate methods, the use of a fatigue-management program by all active interstate motor carriers. Because of the age of this recommendation and your failure so far to take the recommended action, Safety Recommendation H-10-9 remains classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/28/2016
Response: -From T.F. Scott Darling, III, Acting Administrator: On February 3, 2014, FMCSA provided an update to NTSB concerning safety recommendation H-10-09, which detailed the launch and elements of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP). On May 13, 2014, NTSB responded to FMCSA's request for closure of the safety recommendation by reclassifying it from "Open - Acceptable Response" to "Open -Unacceptable Response." FMCSA acknowledges NTSB's concern that "a voluntary adoption policy with no monitoring of such a policy's results will fail to adequately address the problem of fatigued drivers, and will continue to result in catastrophic crashes." However, despite the unfortunate crash involving a commercial motor vehicle driver who willfully chose to continuously operate both personal and commercial motor vehicles beyond any reasonable amount of time without seeking rest between duty shifts, FMCSA has not changed its position on this matter and cannot present the recommended action as a cost-beneficial rulemaking. A conservative estimate suggests the recommended rulemaking could cost several hundred million dollars per year for the first 2-3 years to train existing drivers and supervisors, followed by training of new drivers and new entrant carriers in each subsequent year. FMCSA anticipates significant challenges in determining the benefits of such a rulemaking justify the costs of training all drivers and their supervisors, monitoring and enforcing such training, and requiring carriers to change their operating practices/schedules to conform to the lessons learned through a fatigue management program. A high-level review of the elements necessary for a regulatory evaluation indicate how quickly the costs of such a mandate could spiral out of control and how cost prohibitive the recommended action would be to the motor carrier industry and their customers. Additionally, it would be extremely difficult to quantify the safety benefits. Industry costs of mandatory fatigue management program: • Cost to develop materials and presentations. • Time that drivers and supervisors/dispatchers would need to spend in the training, times their hourly wages. Even if the rule resulted in just a one-time cost (which it would not), it would require a population of several million drivers and thousands of supervisors to spend a few hours working through the basic training modules. • Lost revenues for the motor carrier- the time the drivers spend in training is time they are not out on the road moving cargo or transporting passengers. Benefits of mandatory fatigue management program: • The number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that could be prevented if the drivers and supervisors followed the guidance/information they learned as part of a fatigue management program. Because there is great uncertainty about the number of fatigue-related crashes, as evidenced by the industry objections to the hours of service (HOS) rulemaking and the congressional pushback, there would be significant challenges distinguishing between crashes prevented through changes in the HOS rules themselves, versus crashes prevented through improved compliance associated with the use of electronic logging devices, versus crashes prevented through the fatigue management programs. Voluntary adoption of NAFMP by motor carriers represents the limit to how far FMCSA can proceed with NTSB's safety recommendation. FMCSA will take no further action to mandate that all commercial motor carriers adopt a fatigue management program and therefore respectfully requests NTSB close safety recommendation H-10-09.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 9/8/2015
Response: Reiterated in the Highway Accident Report “Multivehicle Work Zone Crash on Interstate 95 Cranbury, New Jersey, June 7, 2014” HAR-15-02, Notation 8717, Adopted August 11, 2015, Published September 8, 2015. Drivers have both an individual and a professional responsibility to report for work rested and able to perform their duties as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.76 However, personal and social pressures push individuals to compromise rest requirements. In 2010, the NTSB investigated a truck-tractor semitrailer rear-end collision with passenger vehicles on Interstate 44 near Miami, Oklahoma, which also involved a fatigued truck driver encountering slowed traffic, in that case associated with a previous accident (NTSB 2010).77 As a result of the Miami investigation, the NTSB made Safety Recommendation H-10-9 to the FMCSA, which called on the agency to Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment. The FMCSA responded to the recommendation by citing progress made in the development of the NAFMP but stated that it “believes that non-regulatory alternatives should be explored fully prior to any effort to mandate such programs.” On May 13, 2014, the NTSB responded to the FMCSA and expressed disappointment with the FMCSA’s decision not to require implementation of this recommendation by all motor carriers. Our response letter stated, “We are concerned that a voluntary adoption policy with no monitoring of such a policy’s results will fail to adequately address the problem of fatigued drivers and will continue to result in catastrophic crashes.” The recommendation is classified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The NTSB concludes that had the FMCSA required motor carriers to adopt an FMP as recommended by the NTSB in 2010, it seems likely, based on other instances of the carrier’s compliance with federal motor carrier safety requirements, that Walmart Transportation would have implemented a program to better monitor and educate its drivers about the risks of fatigue. Therefore, because the FMCSA has not yet required carriers to adopt FMPs, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-10-9 to the FMCSA.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 5/13/2014
Response: We are pleased you have undertaken a multi-year collaborative effort with your Canadian partners to complete implementation of the NAFMP. We understand that the instructional program, which can be used online or in a traditional classroom setting, includes 10 modules that address various aspects of fatigue management, including safety culture, driver and driver family education, shipper and receiver best practices, scheduling tools for drivers and motor carriers, sleep disorder management, and fatigue monitoring technologies. We note that these materials are accessible through the NAFMP website and are available free of charge. We also note that the NAFMP training modules consist of PowerPoint presentations, videos, and interactive courses that include current fatigue management practices and countermeasures; that you have revised your “Driver Fatigue Video” to include all commercial vehicle drivers; and that you plan to update the modules regularly as new research findings, technology, and best practices become available. Including the recommended information in these modules constitutes an acceptable alternate means of satisfying Safety Recommendations H 09-32 and H 10-8. Accordingly, these recommendations are classified “Closed?Acceptable Alternate Action.” Although the NAFMP is a comprehensive program containing a range of information to help drivers and motor carriers effectively manage commercial driver fatigue, we are disappointed that you have not required its adoption by all motor carriers nor implemented a program to evaluate or improve fatigue management programs adopted by motor carriers. We are concerned that a voluntary adoption policy with no monitoring of such a policy’s results will fail to adequately address the problem of fatigued drivers, and will continue to result in catastrophic crashes. We urge you to reconsider your position and explore all possible means to mandate the use of the NAFMP by the more than 525,000 currently active interstate motor carriers and to develop a way to provide continuous improvement of the NAFMP based on real-world data from the carriers. Pending your reconsideration of your current position, Safety Recommendations H 10-9 and H 12-29 are classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 2/13/2014
Response: CC# 201301266- ANPRM Response to Federal Transit Administration: ANPRM - The National Public Transportation Safety Plan, the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, and the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program; Transit Asset Management: Although the introduction of the ANPRM states that FTA “intends to focus its initial oversight and enforcement efforts on rail transit systems’ implementation of and compliance with these requirements,” the NTSB would like to provide some additional comments with regard to transit bus safety for FTA’s future planning purposes. As was noted in the ANPRM, the NTSB held an investigative hearing on transit bus safety in March 1998, investigated several transit bus accidents, and issued a Special Investigation Report titled Transit Bus Oversight. The report noted that FTA was unable to identify conditions on buses for the traveling public or resolve any unsafe conditions due to a lack of effective safety oversight and enforcement. In addition, the NTSB questioned the utility of the safety data that was being collected on transit bus safety. Finally, the NTSB was concerned that, at the time, a comprehensive bus safety program was not available to transit agencies outside of APTA’s membership program. Based on the findings of the investigation, the NTSB issued the following safety recommendations to the US Department of Transportation: Develop and implement an oversight program to assess and ensure the safety of transit bus operations that receive Federal funding. (H-98-43) Collect accurate, timely, and sufficient data so that thorough assessments can be made relating to transit bus safety. (H-98-44) Evaluate the collected data, as part of the oversight program, to identify the underlying causes of transit bus accidents that could lead to the identification of safety deficiencies at transit agencies. (H-98-45) Develop, in cooperation with the American Public Transit Association, the Community Transportation Association of America, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, a model comprehensive safety program(s) and provide it to all transit agencies. (H-98-46) In response, the FTA-sponsored outreach and research efforts to develop a model program for transit bus safety and security. Subsequently, the recommendations were closed with an acceptable response status by the NTSB. Moving forward, however, these recommendations must not be forgotten as data collection and evaluation is an integral component of any safety management program. It is vital that FTA continue to assess and monitor the safety of transit bus operations, including the collection of accurate, timely, and sufficient data so that thorough assessments can be made relating to transit bus safety. Likewise, it is essential that a program be maintained whereas transit bus accidents are thoroughly investigated to identify the underlying causes of crashes so that safety improvements can be implemented in a timely manner. While the NTSB is encouraged that FTA has developed a well-received bus safety program, we are concerned that the program remains completely voluntary and that FTA is unable to ensure that all bus transit agencies are positively affected. In 2013, the safety of bus operations was highlighted as a safety issue area of concern as part of the NTSB’s Most Wanted List. Over the years, the NTSB has made numerous recommendations to the motorcoach and school bus associations, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which the NTSB believes should be considered when establishing a robust oversight program for bus transit operations. These recommendations address safety concerns such as driver distraction, driver fatigue, medical oversight, fire safety, event data recorders, and vehicle safety equipment. FTA should refer to the NTSB safety recommendations database for additional information. The following are examples of some of the NTSB recommendations which should be considered. Driver Fatigue To FMCSA: Incorporate scientifically based fatigue mitigation strategies into the hours-of-service regulations for passenger-carrying drivers who operate during the nighttime window of circadian low. (H-12-30) Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment. (H 10 9) Implement a program to identify commercial drivers at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea and require that those drivers provide evidence through the medical certification process of having been appropriately evaluated and, if treatment is needed, effectively treated for that disorder before being granted unrestricted medical certification. (H-09-15) Develop and disseminate guidance for commercial drivers, employers, and physicians regarding the identification and treatment of individuals at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), emphasizing that drivers who have OSA that is effectively treated are routinely approved for continued medical certification. (H-09-16) Develop and implement a plan to deploy technologies in commercial vehicles to reduce the occurrence of fatigue-related accidents. (H 08 13)

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/3/2014
Response: From Anne S. Ferro, Administrator: FMCSA worked collaboratively with Transport Canada, the Alberta Ministry of Transportation, the Alberta Ministry of Employment and Immigration, the Commission de la sante et de la securite du travail du Quebec, and the Societe de 1 'assurance automobile du Quebec to develop NAFMP and will continue to encourage the voluntary use of this interactive web-based educational and training program. Operational and other support was provided by the motor carrier industry through the participation of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMT A), Alberta Motor Transport Association, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), and Canadian and U.S. volunteer motor carriers. The multi-year collaborative research to develop, test and evaluate components of a fatigue management program (FMP) for commercial vehicle operators has resulted in a thorough understanding of the issues, opportunities, and challenges inherent in managing operator fatigue in a 24/7 commercial trucking environment. The NAFMP was developed through the following four distinct research, development, and testing phases: • Phase 1 -Involved the identification of fatigue management requirements and developed a comprehensive approach designed specifically for drivers, dispatchers, and company managers. • Phase 2 - Involved the development of education and training materials and procedures for assessment of field testing the FMP. • Phase 3 -Involved the conducting of field operational tests in two stages: protocol development and field testing of the effectiveness of the comprehensive FMP compared to current industry practices. • Phase 4 - Involved the development and advancement of recommended practice guidelines, manuals, and other training materials, which were made available to all commercial motor carriers to implement a comprehensive and effective FMP. The overall NAFMP instructional program is organized into a series often modules, each covering required topics directed toward specific audiences, and is available both online and through traditional classroom settings. The curriculum for the training program is listed below. The estimated duration for each module includes time for slide presentation/narration, trainee probe questions, self-tests, and trainee evaluation (at end of each module). Module 1: FMP Introduction and Overview (45 minutes) Module 2: Safety Culture and Management Practices (1.5 hours) Module 3: Driver Education (3 hours) Module 4: Driver Family Education (45 minutes) Module 5: Train-the-Trainer for Driver Education and Family Forum (3.5 hours) Module 6: Shippers and Receivers (30 minutes) Module 7: Motor Carrier Sleep Disorders Management (1.5 hour) Module 8: Driver Sleep Disorders Management ( 1.25 hour) Module 9: Driver Scheduling and Tools (1 hour) Module 10: Fatigue Monitoring and Management Technologies (1 hour) For each module, instructional methods and materials include instructor-led PowerPoint presentations, web-based non-interactive course, and web-based interactive course. FMCSA recognizes the growth of the world-wide web and the possibilities it affords in providing alternative training and educational opportunities. As a result, the Agency proposes using the web-based modules in place of a separate video to offer experiential learning opportunities that will specifically address commercial driver fatigue. On July 10, 2013, the NAFMP website was officially launched and can be viewed at http://nafmp.org. Information is currently offered in English and French. The website provides a comprehensive approach to commercial driver fatigue management including the following: • Online fatigue management training for drivers, drivers' families, carrier executives and managers, dispatchers, and shippers/receivers. • Information on how to develop a corporate culture that facilitates reduced driver fatigue. • Information on sleep disorders screening and treatment. • Driver and trip scheduling information. • Information on Fatigue Management Technologies. The website's NAFMP Implementation Manual provides guidance for carriers that choose to deploy the NAFMP and help with designing and implementing a FMP for their company. The website includes all materials and guidance free of charge to any individual or organization and will be continually updated to include any new research findings, technology, or best practices. The website also offers carriers a cost-benefit (Return-on-Investment) calculator to estimate the monetary benefits of implementing NAFMP, either in its entirety or select components in a customized program (e.g., fatigue management training, sleep disorder screening and treatment, technology deployment, and scheduling tool s). The user guide explains the various data input requirements and results generated by the calculator, and provides the sources used to generate the default values for several data elements. The NAFMP fatigue management tool does not replace or override the FMCSA or Transport Canada's regulations on hours-of-service (HOS). The Agency's and Transport Canada's regulated commercial motor carriers and drivers continue to have a duty to know and comply with the respective FMCSA or Transport Canada HOS regulations. FMCSA acknowledges NTSB's concerns regarding the need for carriers to adopt FMPs; however, the Agency still believes that non-regulatory alternatives should be explored fully prior to any effort to mandate such programs. The Agency will continue to work with stakeholder groups and the motor carrier industry to promote the voluntary implementation of FMPs based on the NAFMP. The NAFMP Steering Committee is planning a meeting with industry and government representatives to obtain guidance and recommendations for the NAFMP. This meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 2014 and will include a focused discussion on the use of NAFMP. Based on the information provided, FMCSA plans no further action and believes that it has fully addressed safety recommendations H-09-32; H-1 0-08; H-1 0-09; and H-12-29 and respectfully requests that NTSB reclassify these safety recommendations as "Closed-Acceptable Alternate."

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 4/23/2013
Response: Notation 8486: On March 11, 2013, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) published a request for public comment on a document released on its website titled “Draft Recommendations Evaluation for Public Comment: Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)” (CSB Evaluation). Subsequently, CSB staff invited the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to share its experiences in investigating transportation accidents in which human fatigue was identified as a safety issue, and related NTSB safety recommendations. The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause of transportation accidents and issuing safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. The NTSB has a long history of making recommendations to reduce fatigue and fatigue-related transportation accidents and, since its inception, has issued over 200 recommendations addressing fatigue in the aviation, highway, marine, railroad, and pipeline modes. We are pleased to share our experiences with the CSB. The CSB Evaluation comments on actions taken by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the United Steelworkers International Union (USW) in response to Recommendation No. 2005-04-I-TX-7, issued by the CSB in 2005 to those organizations. The CSB recommendation was issued as a result of the March 23, 2005, Texas City, Texas, refinery explosion and fire. The portion of the CSB recommendation pertinent to this letter reads as follows: [D]evelop fatigue prevention guidelines for the refining and petrochemical industries that, at a minimum, limit hours and days of work and address shift work…. In April 2010, the API issued an American National Standards Institute-approved Recommended Practice titled Fatigue Risk Management Systems for Personnel in the Refining and Petrochemical Industries, First Edition (RP-755), and an accompanying technical report titled Fatigue Risk Management Systems for Personnel in the Refining and Petrochemical Industries, Scientific and Technical Guide to RP 755. The CSB Evaluation presents the results of a CSB staff review in which the CSB staff determined that RP-755 does not meet the intent of the CSB recommendation in several areas. The NTSB has reviewed RP-755 as well as the CSB Evaluation. With respect to human fatigue, the NTSB has specific experience with the following issues that are discussed in the CSB Evaluation: • The hours-of-service limits described in RP-755, which are more permissive than what is indicated by current scientific knowledge, and the suggestion that voluntary FRMS programs will compensate for the risk from excessive hours and days at work, and • The emphasis of RP-755 on voluntary efforts by industry and its lack of explicit requirements, especially with respect to elements of an effective fatigue management system. With respect to the hours-of-service limits, RP-755 describes “work sets” during normative conditions, which may include 12-hour day shifts or night shifts for 7 consecutive days, with the possibility of an additional “holdover period” beyond the duty day for training or safety meetings. The RP states that the “holdover period should not exceed 2 hours and, where possible, occur at the end of the day shift.” However, the use of the language “should” is not a requirement but is defined by the document as a “recommendation or that which is advised but not required in order to conform to the RP.” Therefore, a worker could, during a normal work set, work shifts of 14 hours or greater in a 24-hour period for several days. RP-755 also states that during planned or unplanned outages, workers may be called on to work 12-hour shifts for up to 14 consecutive days, with as little as 36 hours between 14-day, 12-hour work sets. Holdover periods of up to 2 hours are also allowed during outages. The RP also has provisions for extending work shifts up to 18 hours. In several of its accident investigations, the NTSB has recognized the relationship between long duty days and fatigue, both directly and through their effects on reduced sleep lengths during off-duty periods. For example, in the investigation of the October 2004 Corporate Airlines accident in Kirksville, Missouri, the NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilots’ failure to follow established procedures and properly conduct an instrument approach at night, and that fatigue was one factor that contributed to the pilots’ degraded performance. The length of the pilots’ duty day (at the time of the accident, they had been on duty for 14 1/2 hours) was cited along with less-than-optimal overnight rest time, early reporting time for duty, the number of flight legs, and demanding flight conditions, as factors that resulted in the pilots’ fatigue. In the Kirksville report, the NTSB cited research showing that pilots who worked schedules that involved 13 or more hours of duty time had an accident rate that was several times higher than that of pilots working shorter schedules, and that airplane captains who had been awake for more than about 12 hours made significantly more errors than those who had been awake for less than 12 hours. As a result of the Kirksville investigation, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation A-06-10 to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which stated the following: A-06-10 Modify and simplify the flight crew hours-of-service regulations to take into consideration factors such as length of duty day, starting time, workload, and other factors shown by recent research, scientific evidence, and current industry experience to affect crew alertness. The NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation A-06-10 in 2008 following its investigation of the April 2007 Pinnacle Airlines accident in Traverse City, Michigan. In that accident, the NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilots’ poor decision-making as they prepared to land the airplane. The NTSB stated that “This poor decision-making likely reflected the effects of fatigue produced by a long, demanding duty day and, for the captain, the duties associated with check airman functions.” The pilots had been on duty for more than 14 hours at the time of the accident. The effectiveness of fatigue management is directly related to the availability of work schedules that allow a sufficient period of time between work shifts for the employee to obtain sufficient restorative sleep. The NTSB has investigated several accidents and serious incidents that provided clear and compelling evidence that air traffic controllers were sometimes operating in a state of fatigue because of their work schedules and poorly managed utilization of rest periods between shifts, and that fatigue had contributed to controller errors. Consequently, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation A-07-30 to the FAA, which stated the following: A-07-30 Work with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to reduce the potential for controller fatigue by revising controller work-scheduling policies and practices to provide rest periods that are long enough for controllers to obtain sufficient restorative sleep and by modifying shift rotations to minimize disrupted sleep patterns, accumulation of sleep debt, and decreased cognitive performance. The NTSB’s consideration of how long duty days affect fatigue and safety has not been limited to the aviation mode. Recently, in our investigation of the September 2010 collision of two freight trains near Two Harbors, Minnesota, the NTSB concluded that crew fatigue was a contributing factor in train crew errors that led to the collision. The train crewmembers who made the errors had been awake between 13 and 14 hours at the time of the accident, and the accident occurred during the final hour of a 12-hour shift. In its report, the NTSB cited a study showing that 12 hour work shifts have been associated with decrements in alertness and performance, compared to 8-hour shifts. Other studies of commercial drivers have found an exponential increase in crash risk with increasing driving times, especially for driving periods that extend beyond 8 or 9 hours. The NTSB has made numerous recommendations concerning hours of service across the transportation modes. A common theme of those NTSB recommendations has been an emphasis on establishing hours-of-service limits that are scientifically based, that set limits on hours of service, that provide predictable work and rest schedules, and that consider circadian rhythms and human sleep requirements. The second issue discussed in the CSB Evaluation with which the NTSB has experience concerns the lack of explicit requirements regarding essential elements of a fatigue management program. The CSB Evaluation remarks that The use of the word ‘should’ for most elements of a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) in the RP means that they are optional, not required. In what is already a voluntary standard to begin with–employers can choose to conform to them, but they are not required by force of law to do so–‘should’ statements have very little force. The lack of required FRMS elements raises additional concerns because RP-755 states that its hours-of-service limits were “developed in the context of the existence of a comprehensive FRMS” and that “Consistently working at the limits shown is not sustainable and may lead to chronic sleep debt.” Hence, while RP-755 does not require the use of an FRMS, it does ostensibly allow operators to persistently schedule workers at the noted limits. The NTSB has recommended requiring the implementation of fatigue management programs. For example, as a result of its investigation of a June 2009 multivehicle accident near Miami, Oklahoma, in which a truck driver’s fatigue resulted in his failure to react to and avoid colliding with a slowing traffic queue, the NTSB emphasized the importance of comprehensive fatigue management programs. The report described the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), which is designed to address scheduling policies and practices, fatigue management training, sleep disorder screening and treatment, and fatigue monitoring technologies. In the report, the NTSB stated that “if the NAFMP guidelines remain voluntary—and are used by some carriers but ignored by others—this important safety tool might have only a limited effect in reducing fatigue-related highway accidents.” As a result of its investigation, the NTSB called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to implement the following NTSB safety recommendation: H-10-9 Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment. The NTSB has also made recommendations in the highway, railroad, and aviation modes to establish ongoing programs to evaluate, report on, and continuously improve fatigue management programs implemented by operators (NTSB Safety Recommendations H-08-14, R 12-007, A-06-11, and A-08-45). I hope that this information about the NTSB’s history of investigating fatigue-related accidents and the recommendations we have issued will be useful as the CSB moves forward with the evaluation of the API and USW responses to the fatigue-related CSB recommendation resulting from the Texas City investigation.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 8/16/2012
Response: From the NTSB report Motorcoach roadway departure and overturn on Interstate 95 near Doswell, Virginia on May 31, 2011 (report adopted July 31, 2012, report published August 16, 2012): In its September 1, 2011, response to this recommendation, the FMCSA indicated that, before mandating the use of fatigue management programs, a nonregulatory approach should be tried. The FMCSA stated it would continue to work to encourage carriers to implement such programs on a voluntary basis. The NTSB believes that, although some carriers will adopt fatigue management programs to improve the safety of their operations, many will not. In fact, those carriers with the weakest safety management—that is, the operations that most need a fatigue management program—are the least likely to implement one. For example, it seems improbable that a carrier such as Sky Express, given its extremely limited effort to train and supervise its drivers, would have enacted a fatigue management program unless required to do so to stay in business. Consequently, on March 28, 2012, the NTSB reclassified Safety Recommendation H-10-9 “Open—Unacceptable Response.” In its 2012 report on a March 12, 2011, motorcoach accident in New York City, New York, the NTSB reiterated Safety Recommendation H-10-9 due to the fatigue-related failures associated with the driver and carrier in that accident.77 In connection with the Doswell accident, the NTSB considers that, had Sky Express taken reasonable steps toward overseeing the activities of its drivers, such as those that would normally appear in a fatigue management program, the driver might have been better rested and avoided falling asleep while driving, thus preventing this accident. Therefore, the NTSB again reiterates Safety Recommendation H-10-9 to the FMCSA, and the recommendation remains classified “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The NTSB does not consider, however, that Sky Express, which was reluctant to take even minimal steps to ensure the safety management of its operations, would necessarily have become a safer company simply by initiating a fatigue management program. As the NTSB found during this investigation, Sky Express lacked any systematic approach to maintaining safety and provided only the minimum safety management required by the FMCSA to keep its operating authority. (See section 2.4, “Motor Carrier Oversight.”) Sky Express undertook safety management actions only when forced to do so by FMCSA oversight. There is little reason to expect that Sky Express would have maintained an effective fatigue management program unless the FMCSA also undertook to ensure its effective continuance. Therefore, the NTSB concludes that, if the FMCSA requires carriers to implement fatigue management programs without ensuring the programs stay active and effective, some may not have the intended result of reducing driver fatigue and increasing safety. In the 4 years since the NTSB first issued Safety Recommendation H-08-14, recommending that the FMCSA assess those fatigue management programs adopted voluntarily by motor carriers, the NTSB has issued Safety Recommendation H-10-9, and substantial progress has been made on the NAFMP. Given these developments, the NTSB reclassifies Safety Recommendation H-08-14 “Closed—Acceptable Action/Superseded” and recommends that the FMCSA establish an ongoing program to monitor, evaluate, report on, and continuously improve fatigue management programs implemented by motor carriers to identify, mitigate, and continuously reduce fatigue-related risks for drivers.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 7/12/2012
Response: From the report Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision with Vertical Highway Signpost Interstate 95 Southbound New York City, New York, March 12, 2011, adopted June 5, 2012, published July 12, 2012: The NTSB has a long history of issuing recommendations to prevent fatigue-related highway accidents, and human fatigue is an issue currently on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List. From 1998–2010, the NTSB determined driver fatigue to be a factor in 7 of 19 motorcoach accidents, which resulted in 46 fatalities. Although World Wide Travel reported that new drivers were shown a video about driver fatigue during their initial training period, the company did not have a fatigue management program (FMP)—nor did the FMCSA require one. An FMP applies a comprehensive, tailored approach to the issue of fatigue within the operational environment in a particular industry or workplace. An FMP commonly addresses topics to help manage fatigue (for example, medical screening and treatment, scheduling policies and practices, employee education, fatigue monitoring technologies, task/workload issues, rest environments, commuting, and napping) and incorporates an overall organizational strategy for implementing, supervising, and evaluating the plan. Although it is unclear whether an FMP would have led the accident driver to sleep more during his off-duty periods, it may have addressed other fatigue-related issues such as the driver being at risk for OSA. Since 1999, the FMCSA has collaborated with Transport Canada and others to develop and implement a comprehensive FMP for the commercial motor carrier industry, known as the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP). In its report detailing the 2009 fatal truck-tractor rear-end accident in Miami, Oklahoma, the NTSB acknowledged the success of an NAFMP-sponsored pilot study when it recommended that the FMCSA Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment. (H-10-9) In a 2011 letter to the NTSB, the FMCSA reported that the NAFMP had entered its final phase, which involves the development of guidelines, manuals, and other training materials to help motor carriers implement an FMP. However, in the same letter, the FMCSA noted that it believes that the “voluntary adoption of standardized FMPs is an appropriate non-regulatory alternative to recommendation H-10-9.” Consequently, on March 28, 2012, the NTSB reclassified Safety Recommendation H-10-9 “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The NTSB continues to maintain that voluntary NAFMP guidelines will do little to reduce fatigue-related highway accidents. Consequently, the NTSB reiterates Safety Recommendation H-10-9 to the FMCSA to require that all motor carriers adopt an FMP based on NAFMP guidelines.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 3/28/2012
Response: The NTSB is concerned with the FMCSA’s continued pursuit of a voluntary fatigue management program. Implementation of these guidelines by every motor carrier would constitute a major step toward addressing the problem of fatigue among commercial drivers on the nation’s highways. If the NAFMP guidelines remain voluntary—adopted willingly by some motor carriers but ignored by others—an important safety tool may be limited in its ability to reduce fatigue-related highway accidents. Consequently, pending the FMCSA’s implementing a requirement that all motor carriers adopt a fatigue management program based on the NAFMP guidelines, Safety Recommendation H-10-9 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/1/2011
Response: CC# 201100337: - From Anne S. Ferro, Administrator: Although FMCSA acknowledges the NTSB's concerns regarding the need for carriers to adopt FMPs, the Agency believes that non-regulatory alternatives should be explored fully prior to any effort to mandate such programs. As indicated above, FMCSA has been involved in the NAFMP since 1999. The Agency will continue to work with stakeholder groups and the motor carrier industry to promote the voluntary implementation of FMPs based on the standardized FMPs that will be released at the conclusion of the NAFMP's work. In addition, at FMCSA's May 2007 Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) meeting, the Committee accepted and discussed Task 07-02: Commercial Motor Vehicle Non-Regulatory Safety Practices, noting that an important management best safety practice would be to "implement a Fatigue/Alert Management Program for drivers and related staff that interact with drivers or driver performance." The MCSAC identified and recommended this practice as a significant non-regulatory safety practice that could be implemented throughout the motor carrier industry, and in FMCSA programs, but did not recommend requiring all carriers to develop FMPs. As a follow-up to Task 07-02, FMCSA tasked MCSAC with the development of information, concepts, and ideas on ways fleets can develop a practical FMP, Task 10-03: Fatigue Management for Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators. During MCSAC's August-September and December 2010 meetings, the Committee received briefings and presentations from fatigue management experts from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. At the conclusion of its discussions, MCSAC issued a final report providing a framework for both developing an FMP for carriers and determining the relevant information to include in an FMP. The FMCSA believes MCSAC's work will increase industry knowledge of FMP fundamentals and that carriers, drivers, and other stakeholders can more clearly understand their roles in reducing driver fatigue and, ultimately, in improving roadway safety. The FMCSA also believes that the voluntary adoption of standardized FMPs is an appropriate non-regulatory alternative to recommendation H-10-09. The FMCSA will continue to encourage and promote the safety advantages of incorporating an FMP in a motor carrier safety environment and attempt to determine the extent to which motor carriers have implemented FMPs. Based on the reasons cited above in safety recommendation H-10-08 and the work of the MCSAC, FMCSA respectfully requests that NTSB classify safety recommendation H-10-09 as "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 3/3/2011
Response: Notation 8286: Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Hours of Service of Drivers,” which was published at 75 Federal Register (FR) 82170 on December 29, 2010. The notice proposes to revise the regulations for hours of service (HOS) for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Background of HOS Rule The NTSB has a long history of making recommendations to reduce the likelihood of fatigue-related highway accidents, including recommendations concerning HOS, electronic on board recorders (EOBR), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), fatigue education and training, vehicle- and environment-based countermeasures, and fatigue risk management programs. With respect to HOS, in 1995, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-95-1, which urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to require sufficient rest provisions to enable drivers to obtain at least 8 continuous hours of sleep. At the same time, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-95-2, which asked the FHWA to eliminate the provision that allowed drivers to split the required 8 hours off duty into two separate periods, so that drivers would have the opportunity to obtain 8 continuous hours of sleep. Both of these recommendations were added to the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements (Most Wanted List) in 1995. On May 11, 1999, the NTSB classified both recommendations “Closed—Unacceptable Action/Superseded” and issued Safety Recommendation H-99-19, which asked the FMCSA to do the following: Establish within 2 years scientifically based hours-of-service regulations that set limits on hours of service, provide predictable work and rest schedules, and consider circadian rhythms and human sleep and rest requirements. At a minimum, and as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board in 1995, the revised regulations should also (a) require sufficient rest provisions to enable drivers to obtain at least 8 continuous hours of sleep after driving for 10 hours or being on duty for 15 hours, and (b) eliminate 49 Code of Federal Regulations 395.1 paragraph (h), which allows drivers with sleeper berth equipment to cumulate the 8 hours off-duty time in two separate periods. (H-99-19) On April 28, 2003, the FMCSA promulgated a final rule (68 FR 22455) for CMV drivers that extended the driving time from 10 to 11 hours but limited the driving window to 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty. The daily off-duty period requirement was extended from 8 to 10 hours. Although the maximum weekly limits were not changed, drivers were allowed to restart the calculation of weekly hours by taking an off-duty break of 34 consecutive hours (termed the “34-hour restart” provision). Based on this new rule, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendation H-99-19 “Closed—Acceptable Alternate Action” at a Board Meeting on November 18, 2003. In a letter to the FMCSA dated February 23, 2004, the NTSB commended the FMCSA for revising the HOS regulations for truck drivers for the first time in more than 60 years and stated that, although the sleeper berth provision was not eliminated as requested, the revision met the main objectives of the safety recommendation. On July 16, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit) vacated the 2003 rule, stating that the FMCSA “failed to consider the impact of the rules on the health of drivers, a factor that the agency must consider under its organic statute.” Subsequently, Congress directed that the 2003 regulations remain in force until the effective date of a new final rule or until September 30, 2005, whichever occurred first. On January 24, 2005, the FMCSA issued an NPRM on CMV driver HOS published at 70 FR 3339. On March 10, 2005, the NTSB responded to this NPRM by first acknowledging the FMCSA’s efforts to develop a rule based on current scientific research on fatigue. Additionally, the NTSB’s comments on the proposed rule reiterated concerns about issues that were not addressed by the 2003 rulemaking. Specifically, the NTSB urged the FMCSA to eliminate provisions or exemptions that would permit a daily sleep period for drivers of less than 8 continuous hours. The NTSB also highlighted the continuing need for tamper-proof EOBRs to assist in the enforcement of HOS regulations. On August 25, 2005, the FMCSA published a revised final rule, which, while similar to the 2003 rule, also revised the sleeper berth provision to require at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. Drivers using the sleeper berth provision were required to take an additional 2 hours either off duty or in the sleeper berth. The 2005 rule also provided an exception for CMV drivers who operate within 150 air miles of their work-reporting location and who drive CMVs that do not require a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The rule permitted such drivers to extend the driving window and on-duty time to 16 hours twice a week. Based on additional legal challenges to the 2005 rule, on July 24, 2007, the DC Circuit vacated provisions of the 2005 rule that involved the 11-hour driving limit and the 34-hour restart provision. Subsequently, the FMCSA published an interim final rule on December 17, 2007, and a final rule on November 19, 2008, which repromulgated both the 11-hour driving limit and the 34-hour restart provision and provided the full regulatory evaluation and an explanation of the agency’s methodology in support of its rationale. In 2009, a new petition was filed with the DC Circuit challenging the 2008 rule, and a settlement was reached whereby the petition would be held in abeyance pending the publication of a revised final rule by July 26, 2011. Proposed HOS Rule Revisions The NTSB understands that the subject NPRM proposes to make several changes to the current HOS rule, as summarized in the table on page 4 of this letter. The NTSB supports those provisions of the proposed rule that are scientifically based and would reduce continuous duty or driving time, encourage break-taking, promote nighttime sleep, and foster scheduling patterns that are predictable and consistent with the normal human diurnal circadian rhythm, because extended periods of time awake and time on task, as well as inverted or rotating schedules, have been associated with fatigue-related performance decrements and increased accident risk. By limiting on-duty time to 13 hours and consecutive driving time without breaks to 7 hours, and by choosing to reduce the 11-hour maximum driving time to 10 hours, the FMCSA will reduce continuous time on task and increase rest periods for some drivers. Additionally, limiting how often drivers may use the restart provision and requiring that the 34-hour restart interval include two periods between midnight and 6 a.m. should have the effect of increasing the amount of sleep that drivers receive during the restart period and may encourage drivers to adopt schedules that are more diurnally oriented. Table. Summary of changes to the current HOS rule proposed in the December 29, 2010, NPRM issued by the FMCSA. Provision Current Rule Proposed Rule Daily off-duty period 10 consecutive hours No change Daily driving window For most drivers, 14 consecutive hours (may continue on duty/not driving after 14 hours); "Regional" drivers allowed one 16-hour period "weekly," but release from duty required after 16 hours; Non-CDL drivers within 150 miles of work reporting location allowed two 16 hour periods "weekly" (may continue on duty/not driving after 16 hours) For all property-carrying CMV drivers (unless excepted): • 14 consecutive hours with release from duty required at end of driving window; • 16 consecutive hours no more than twice "weekly," with release from duty required at end of driving window Maximum on-duty time within driving window Normally 14 hours; 16 hours once per week for "regional" drivers; 16 hours twice per week for non-CDL drivers within 150 miles of work-reporting location 13 hours* Maximum driving within driving window 11 hours 10 or 11 hours (both being considered) Maximum consecutive driving No limit May drive only if it has been 7 hours or less since last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes* Weekly on-duty maximum 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days No change Weekly restart May restart weekly limits after at least 34 hours off duty 34-hour restart retained but may only be used once per week and must include two off-duty periods between midnight and 6 a.m. Sleeper berth exception May split off duty into two periods: one period must be at least 8 consecutive hours in sleeper berth; the other, at least 2 hours in sleeper berth or off duty (shorter period does not extend the driving window) No change, but apply same new driving, on duty, and duty-period limits as proposed for non-sleeper-berth drivers Definition of “on duty” Includes any time in CMV except in sleeper berth Does not include any time resting in a parked CMV; In a moving CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper berth Oilfield exemption “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off duty but does not extend 14 hour duty period) must be recorded and available to the FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for recordkeeping “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on record of duty status or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid” *Provision is not applicable to non-CDL drivers operating within 150 air miles of work-reporting location. The NTSB acknowledges the challenges associated with establishing HOS regulations that promote safety and driver health while still providing drivers and operators sufficient flexibility to make scheduling decisions and carry out operations in a competitive manner. Although many drivers do not have schedules that extend to the regulatory limits, as the NPRM notes, some carriers have elected to incorporate maximum on-duty periods into their supply chain planning. This fact shows that some carriers will routinely schedule drivers to the regulatory limits. Because some carriers will inevitably incorporate the minimum rest periods and maximum duty periods into their standard operating practices, in the absence of scientific data, the NTSB encourages the FMCSA to select conservative thresholds to protect the safety and health of drivers, as well as the safety of the traveling public. The NTSB commends the FMCSA for acknowledging in this NPRM that there are insufficient scientific data to support a specific maximum driving time and for particularly requesting data from stakeholders to address this issue. The NTSB has continually and consistently recommended scientifically based HOS regulations. In the absence of relevant scientific data, a conservative maximum driving period is warranted. For these reasons, the NTSB supports reducing the 11-hour maximum driving period within the driving window to a 10-hour maximum, unless or until relevant scientific data justify a departure from this limit. The NTSB has significant reservations about several of the other proposed rule changes. Although allowing the driving window to be extended to 16 hours up to 2 days per week may not lead to an increase in duty or driving hours, it is likely to lead to a forward schedule rotation and may, therefore, adversely affect drivers’ circadian rhythms and sleep quality. Further, the NTSB is strongly opposed to special provisions providing exemptions to certain HOS requirements, such as those the proposed rule applies to passenger-carrying CMVs, oilfield operations, and various other groups. Such exemptions are likely to lead to increased risk for the exempted population and the driving public. NTSB Fatigue Recommendations As stated above, the NTSB supports those provisions of the proposed HOS rule that are likely to reduce driver fatigue. Nevertheless, the NTSB notes that, although driver scheduling is a foundational factor in reducing driver fatigue, an improved HOS rule alone cannot solve the problem of fatigue-related crashes. The NTSB believes several additional issues must be addressed concerning driver fatigue and safety. In recent years, the NTSB has made recommendations to the FMCSA concerning additional actions that can reduce the likelihood drivers will have fatigue-related crashes. Such actions include the following: • Requiring the use of EOBRs for monitoring and assessing HOS compliance; • Reducing the incidence of drivers with undetected, or untreated, OSA; • Developing and employing in-vehicle technologies to reduce the occurrence of fatigue-related accidents; • Providing education about fatigue and fatigue countermeasures; and • Requiring motor carriers to adopt fatigue management programs. Because we believe these actions are vital in addressing the risks posed by driver fatigue, we would like to highlight the relevant open NTSB recommendations to the FMCSA in these areas. Electronic On-Board Recorders. EOBRs have the potential to efficiently and accurately collect and verify HOS information for all drivers, establish the proper incentives and a level playing field for compliance with HOS requirements, and, ultimately, make our highways safer. For more than 30 years, the NTSB has advocated the use of in-vehicle recording devices to improve highway safety. The first NTSB recommendation urging mandatory use of on-board recorders resulted from our 1990 safety study on Fatigue, Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Medical Factors in Fatal-to-the-Driver Heavy Truck Crashes, which concluded that on-board recording devices could provide a tamper-proof mechanism to enforce HOS regulations. More recently, as a result of the NTSB investigation of a 2004 multiple-vehicle accident near Chelsea, Michigan, which resulted in one fatality, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations H-07-41 and -42 to the FMCSA on December 17, 2007. The recommendations call on the FMCSA to take the following actions: Require all interstate commercial vehicle carriers to use electronic on-board recorders that collect and maintain data concerning driver hours of service in a valid, accurate, and secure manner under all circumstances, including accident conditions, to enable the carriers and their regulators to monitor and assess hours of-service compliance. (H-07-41) As an interim measure and until industrywide use of electronic on-board recorders is mandated, as recommended in Safety Recommendation H-07-41, prevent log tampering and submission of false paper logs by requiring motor carriers to create and maintain audit control systems that include, at a minimum, the retention of all original and corrected paper logs and the use of bound and sequentially numbered logs. (H-07-42) In January 2007, the FMCSA published an NPRM proposing to require motor carriers with a “demonstrated history of serious noncompliance with hours-of-service rules” to be subject to mandatory installation of EOBRs meeting proposed standards of accuracy, validity, and security. In response, the NTSB asserted that, because of deficiencies in the compliance review program, the FMCSA did not have the resources or processes necessary to identify all carriers and drivers that are pattern violators of HOS regulations. The NTSB reiterated its long-held position that the only way by which EOBRs can effectively stem HOS violations is to mandate their installation and use by all operators subject to HOS regulations. On April 5, 2010, the FMCSA issued a final rule (75 FR 17209) that required EOBRs only for those motor carriers found during compliance reviews to have a 10 percent (or higher) violation rate for HOS regulations. In the final rule, the FMCSA acknowledged that many responses to the 2007 NPRM stated the limited scope of the rule would keep it from making a meaningful difference in highway safety. Consequently, the FMCSA committed to exploring a broader EOBR mandate in a new rulemaking process. Safety Recommendations H-07-41 and -42 are currently classified “Open—Unacceptable Response” because the FMCSA has not yet mandated the use of EOBRs by all motor carriers. Under the framework we envision, HOS regulations will be refined and, of necessity, more detailed; there will continue to be temptations for companies and drivers to evade the rules to gain economic advantage over their competitors, or they may inadvertently violate the rules due to the complexity of the regulatory scheme; and, accordingly, enforcement will remain a challenge for state and federal officials. EOBRs can provide readily accessible, objective, and convincing information to maintain the integrity of the new HOS rule. The NTSB is aware that the FMCSA issued an NPRM concerning EOBRs on February 1, 2011. The NTSB is currently reviewing the NPRM and anticipates providing comments to the FMCSA. Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA is a condition in which an individual’s airway becomes obstructed while sleeping, typically resulting in hypoxia at night, interruptions in breathing lasting several seconds at a time, loud snoring, and nonrestful sleep. Individuals with the disorder are frequently unaware of the condition and may have extreme daytime sleepiness. OSA is associated with significant cognitive and psychomotor deficits, which are at least partially reversible with appropriate treatment. Such deficits are particularly problematic during commercial highway operations where immediate and appropriate responses to external stimuli are often essential to safety. Accident rates have been shown to be considerably higher in drivers with OSA than in those without the disorder, with one case-control study demonstrating a more than six-fold higher risk of traffic accidents in drivers with OSA, after controlling for other possible confounding factors. On October 20, 2009, the NTSB recommended that the FMCSA do the following: Implement a program to identify commercial drivers at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea and require that those drivers provide evidence through the medical certification process of having been appropriately evaluated and, if treatment is needed, effectively treated for that disorder before being granted unrestricted medical certification. (H-09-15) Develop and disseminate guidance for commercial drivers, employers, and physicians regarding the identification and treatment of individuals at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), emphasizing that drivers who have OSA that is effectively treated are routinely approved for continued medical certification. (H-09-16) In a letter dated February 1, 2010, the FMCSA noted it was in the process of developing medical examiner, employer, and driver guidance on sleep disorders, including OSA. The letter also described several other actions the agency had taken or was planning to take, including sponsoring a National Sleep Apnea and Trucking Conference, developing a chapter in its on-line medical examiner handbook to include guidance on sleep disorders, providing a revised medical examination report form to include items specific to the assessment of sleep disorders, developing a best practices guide on medical certification of drivers with OSA, and possibly conducting rulemaking to strengthen the pulmonary/respiratory requirements for driver medical qualification to include sleep disorders. Pending completion of the described efforts and implementation of the recommended program, guidance, and requirement, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendations H-09-15 and -16 “Open—Acceptable Response” on July 20, 2010. In-Vehicle Technologies. In-vehicle fatigue-related technologies are designed to monitor driver behaviors, such as eyelid closure or head position, or vehicle actions, such as steering wheel input or lane drift. In its report on a 2005 accident in Osseo, Wisconsin, which involved the rollover of a truck-tractor semitrailer combination unit and a motorcoach’s collision with the truck wreckage, and which resulted in five fatalities, the NTSB found that technologies to detect fatigue might have prevented or mitigated the severity of the fatigue-related rollover, had the truck been so equipped. Because technologies to detect fatigue could make fatigued drivers more aware of their condition, the NTSB recommended that the FMCSA do the following: Develop and implement a plan to deploy technologies in commercial vehicles to reduce the occurrence of fatigue-related accidents. (H-08-13) On May 11, 2009, the FMCSA responded to this recommendation and indicated that the development of an advanced drowsy driver warning system was underway, and the program would move into principal research and prototype development in 2009. The FMCSA projected this phase would last 2 years, after which a commercialization decision would be made. However, the FMCSA also stated it was unaware of any available technology that commercial drivers could use for both day and night driving. The NTSB responded that although no products were available commercially that could be used effectively both day and night, the agency’s recently published review of activities underway to develop unobtrusive, in-vehicle, real-time, drowsy driver detection and alertness systems discussed at least five separate systems capable of functioning under a variety of conditions. Therefore, on October 2, 2009, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendation H-08-13 “Open—Unacceptable Response.” The NTSB subsequently reiterated Safety Recommendation H-08-13 in its report on a 2009 truck tractor semitrailer rear end collision into passenger vehicles that took place in Miami, Oklahoma, and resulted in 10 fatalities. The NTSB continues to believe in-vehicle technologies can reduce the incidence and seriousness of fatigue-related accidents and urges the FMCSA to move forward with a plan to deploy such technologies in commercial vehicles. Fatigue Education and Information. The provision by the FMCSA of new and updated information on sleep, fatigue, and alertness, based on contemporary scientific research, is essential to ensuring commercial drivers have the necessary guidance to enable them to be well rested and remain alert when operating their vehicles. Since the 1980s, the NTSB has called on the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its modal agencies to develop and disseminate educational materials for transportation industry personnel concerning fatigue risks and countermeasures. In the mid-1990s, the FHWA Office of Motor Carriers coordinated with several other agencies to produce materials and sponsor meetings to educate drivers and others about fatigue. During its investigation of the 2009 Miami, Oklahoma, accident, the NTSB reviewed some of the existing FMCSA fatigue-related training materials. The NTSB determined that, although the fatigue training materials available to truck drivers provided some valuable guidelines, some of the information was outdated, and the available guidance video concerning fatigue did not include vital information pertaining to current HOS regulations and risk factors for OSA. Because updating the information provided to truck drivers about fatigue and fatigue countermeasures, HOS, and OSA could help reduce accidents, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-10-8, which asks the FMCSA to do the following: Create educational materials that provide current information on fatigue and fatigue countermeasures and make the materials available in different formats, including updating and redistributing your truck-driver-focused driver fatigue video; make the video available electronically for quicker dissemination; and implement a plan to regularly update the educational materials and the video with the latest scientific information and to regularly redistribute them. (H-10-8) The NTSB is awaiting a response to this recommendation. Fatigue Management Programs. Although employee education about fatigue is extremely valuable, it alone is insufficient to constitute an adequate fatigue management program, which should involve all aspects of a carrier’s operation. A fatigue management program is a system designed to take a comprehensive, tailored approach to the issue of fatigue within an industry or a workplace and address it in an operational environment. Typically, a fatigue management program incorporates individual program-focused efforts to help manage fatigue. For example, it might include policies and practices addressing scheduling and attendance; employee education, medical screening, and treatment; personal responsibility during nonwork periods; task/workload issues; rest environments; and commuting and/or napping. There should also be an overall organizational strategy for implementing, supervising, and evaluating the plan. Many motor carriers have developed and put into action their own fatigue management programs, although the extent and nature of the plans vary widely. On February 2, 2009, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-08-14 as a result of the Osseo, Wisconsin, accident investigation, and on October 21, 2010, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendation H-10-9 as a result of the Miami, Oklahoma, accident investigation. The recommendations asked the FMCSA to take the following actions: Develop and use a methodology that will continually assess the effectiveness of the fatigue management plans implemented by motor carriers, including their ability to improve sleep and alertness, mitigate performance errors, and prevent incidents and accidents. (H-08-14) Require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines for the management of fatigue in a motor carrier operating environment. (H-10-9) The NTSB is aware that, since 1999, the FMCSA has been involved in the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) initiative, which is a four-phase cooperative program including participants from the U.S. and Canadian transportation industries, as well as government organizations. In the first phase, researchers identified fatigue management plan requirements targeted toward drivers, dispatchers, and company managers. In phase 2, educational, training, and assessment materials were designed for a field test. In phase 3, researchers conducted a field operational test that included an evaluation of the effectiveness of the NAFMP compared to current industry practices. The FMCSA has informed the NTSB it is reviewing the report on the field test to determine whether to continue to the final phase of the project, which would include developing a deployment strategy for the NAFMP. The NTSB has encouraged the FMCSA to move forward with the completion and deployment of the final phase and has urged the agency to include in the program a methodology to continually assess the effectiveness of the plans implemented by motor carriers. Based on this information, on October 2, 2009, the NTSB classified Safety Recommendation H-08-14 “Open—Acceptable Response.” Safety Recommendation H-10-9 is currently classified “Open—Await Response.” Summary In developing the proposed rule, the FMCSA has considered current scientific findings concerning fatigue, and many of its provisions affecting driver scheduling and associated factors have the potential to reduce driver fatigue and fatigue-related CMV accidents. However, the NTSB remains concerned that the FMCSA is not aggressively pursuing other fatigue reduction and mitigation opportunities concerning EOBRs, OSA, in-vehicle technologies, fatigue education, and fatigue management programs. The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to comment on this NPRM addressing the revision of HOS regulations.