Penn State scientists say crash risks for truck drivers during the last hour of a now legal 11-hour day are more than three times that of the first hour.
For 60 years, federal rules limited truckers to 10 consecutive hours of driving. However, in January 2004, that was raised to 11 hours.
But Penn State Professor Paul Jovanis, who led the study, said: "Our analysis of data from three national trucking companies during normal operations in 2004 shows the crash risk is statistically similar for the first six hours of driving and then increases in significant steps thereafter. The 11th hour has a crash risk more than three times the first hour."
Jovanis described the findings in a paper presented this week, during the 2005 International Truck & Bus Safety Security Symposium in Alexandria, Va.
Co-authors were Sang Woo Park, doctoral candidate in civil engineering; K-Yu Chen, a master's degree student in civil engineering; and Frank Gross, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Woolly mammoth skeleton sold at UK auction