The United States depends on commercial trucking to get material, supplies and other goods across the country. Unfortunately, the same system that is essential to the economy can also add danger to American roadways.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) proposed new rules to support growing demands shipping, but many argue that the new regulations would increase tired truckers on the road.
Here’s how the rules would change and how it could impact driver safety.
Increases in the short-haul exemption
In the FMCSA rules, there are exemptions for commercial truck drivers who only drive short distances. The rules allow for drivers to go longer without breaks and drive more hours during the day.
The proposed changes are two-fold. The FMCSA has proposed that the “short-haul” exemption increase from 100 air miles to 150 air miles. The move would also change the maximum on-duty time from 12 hours to 14 hours.
Impact on safety
It can be a complicated equation to balance for truckers who depend on time on the road to make a living. However, increased time on the road tends to lead to drowsy drivers.
The proposed rules would not go into effect until this fall, but it is still wise to watch for signs that the motorists around you are tired. When driving, watch for cars having difficulty staying within the lines on the road or making last-minute turns.
Also, try to maintain safe distances from other vehicles, in general. If you notice someone close behind you, try to pull over and let them pass. As much as possible, you want more space between you and a potentially dangerous driver, no matter what kind of vehicle they have.