Long-haul truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods long distances. When we think about truck drivers, the long-haul driver is often who we picture. However, short-haul trucking, which involves transporting goods locally, makes up a significant portion of trucking jobs.
Unfortunately, short-haul trucking is often ignored, which may leave these truckers vulnerable when it comes to working conditions.
Different Challenges, Different Rules
The differences between short-haul and long-haul trucking are important when it comes to safety rules. A recent change by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration affecting short-haul drivers is controversial among safety advocates.
The rule makes short-haul drivers exempt from mandatory 30-minute rest periods and from needing to use electronic logging devices to track their workload.
Truck drivers of all types are under tremendous pressure to drive up to and beyond their limits. Exhausted drivers are dangerous drivers. Forcing a worker to choose between losing their job and endangering themselves and the public is not acceptable.
Many people feel that the FMCSA’s rule allows employers to do exactly that.
A Loss in Court
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently shot down an attempt by safety groups and a union representing truckers to overturn the FMCSA regulation. The ruling was not a sign that the rule is wise or safe. The FMCSA has the power to make any change that is reasonable and reasonably explained. Regulatory agencies have massive power to set rules without much oversight.
Do Short-Haul Truckers Have Different Needs?
Different regulations imply different needs. Are short-haul truckers immune from the dangers of extremely long work days? Are they immune from needing to take breaks to keep sharp? Are they immune from the need to track their time so employers can’t push them too far?
The truth is, short-haul truckers have the same need for safety as long-haul truckers. However, it’s hard to argue that safety played a role in the changes affecting short-haul drivers. The industry is hard-pressed to find workers due to low pay and a highly stressful working environment. The driver shortage is a growing problem.
For career drivers who may be unable to switch careers at this point, the shortage means more and more pressure to keep working, no matter what. Regulations may be all that protect drivers and everyone they share the road with from mistakes that result in fatal accidents.
Call a Skilled Truck Driving Attorney After an Accident
At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, our Dallas truck accident attorneys have the experience you need. We help the victims of truck accidents get proper compensation.
We handle all personal injury accidents on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay anything upfront to get the representation you deserve. Call us at 800-TedLyon to schedule a free initial consultation.