Relaxation of trucking regulations could lead to more accidents

When it comes to driving, tiredness kills. Large trucks cause more accidents than any other vehicle type. So, it is vital for everyone’s safety, including the truck drivers themselves, that people who drive trucks for a living get adequate sleep and rest. 

To protect everyone, there are laws in place governing how many hours a truck driver can drive and how often they need to stop and take a break. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has just relaxed the rules on how many hours truck drivers can drive in a day, and how far they can drive. Many drivers are opposed and feel it only benefits their employers.

Short-haul drivers can now drive 14 hours per day instead of 12. The definition of short-haul versus what is long haul has also changed. Short-haul now reaches further, up to 150 miles as the crow flies. Previously it was 100 miles. Long-haul trucking has stricter regulations, so by widening the short-haul definition, they have eased rules for even more drivers.

Long haul truckers can only drive 11 hours per day. Previously they were required to take a half-hour break every eight hours. Now their “break” has been redefined; they can still be working loading or unloading or dealing with customers, just not driving. So in effect, their break has been removed.

If you are out on the roads in Georgia, you need to take extra care, knowing these regulations will lead to more tired truck drivers on the road. If you have a crash involving a truck, be sure to find out all the legal options available to you.