November 8, 1941

Fatigue and Hours of Service of Interstate Truck Drivers

Author Affiliations

By Benjamin F. Jones, Passed Assistant Surgeon, et al. From the Division of Industrial Hygiene, National Institute of Health. Prepared by Direction of the Surgeon General. Federal Security Agency, U. S. Public Health Service. Public Health Bulletin No. 265. Paper. Price, 40 cents. Pp. 286, with illustrations. Washington, D. C.: Supt. of Doc., Government Printing Office, 1941.

JAMA. 1941;117(19):1659. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820450083040

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The Interstate Commerce Commission under the Motor Carrier Act, 1935, is attempting to discover the relationship between hours of service and safe operation of vehicles. In the absence of existing factual information, the commission requested the U. S. Public Health Service to establish, if possible, at what measurable point fatigue of the cumulative type makes a truck driver a traffic risk. Data are compiled in the report based on several methods of estimating fatigue—subjective sensation of the driver himself, trained observation by physicians and others, and a series of performance tests based on physiologic and pathologic principles. Dependable correlation was observed in the case of speed of tapping, manual steadiness, simple reaction time and reaction-coordination time. These tests, therefore, were used as one basis for scoring results of observations. Physical examination alone apparently is not especially helpful. The present evidence affirms the common impression that limitation of driving hours will

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