Recent times have led to an increase in shipping demands across the country. With the rise in demand, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) decided last month to change some of the short-haul rules for commercial truck drivers.

Short-haul rules give different guidelines for truckers that do not drive long distances. Since drivers did not have as far to go, FMCSA gave fewer restrictions on break times and hour limitations.

Here’s what you should know about the new rules and the impact it could have on driver safety:

What are the changes?

Recently, the FMCSA chose to increase both permissible driving hours and their distance limitation. Starting this fall, the short-range exemption will allow commercial truckers to drive up to 14 hours and travel as far as 150 air miles.

How could that impact road safety?

Commercial truck drivers have a challenging job. They haul potentially dangerous cargo in large trucks that can do a lot of damage in an accident. When truckers get tired behind the wheel, it can lead to serious accidents.

Truck drivers have already raised concerns about the changes in the rules. They worry that increased time on the road will lead to exhaustion. While they are still required to take breaks and encouraged to stop when they are tired, the rule change could lead to pressure to drive longer than they are comfortable.

When you are driving, watch for signs that a driver may be tired. Watch for behaviors like swerving or drifting between lanes. Drowsy drivers can be unpredictable, so try to maintain your distance.

If you are injured in an accident, please call 877-PAYAMLA for a free consultation