Training Requirements Change for Truck Drivers in 2017
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced1 that it was issuing new final rules for 2017 regarding training standards for new commercial truck and bus drivers across the United States. This rule is based on the theory that proper training is essential to establish a pattern of safe operation of commercial vehicles and therefore, prevent truck accidents and injuries to others.
The new requirements will apply to the following individuals:
- Those seeking an initial Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- CDL holders pursuing any upgrade of their license, such as from Class B to Class A
- CDL holders seeking additional endorsements to operate school buses, motorcoaches, or trucks transporting hazardous materials (HAZMAT)
The rule also applies to intrastate commercial drivers, as well as interstate commercial drivers. The rule does not apply to any driver who is exempt from requirements related to CDLs – such as farmers or military drivers.
The final rule2 will require the above individuals to undergo training that follows a set core curriculum and by a program that is certified by the FMCSA. The drivers must then be assessed regarding their understanding of the training before they can receive a CDL or an upgraded CDL. There is no set requirements regarding the number of hours of training that must be provided. However, there is a minimum score a driver must achieve to prove proficiency in the training materials before they can be licensed.
Untrained Truck Drivers Increase the Risks of Crashes
The FMCSA believed that new training standards were necessary because drivers who are not properly trained present a high risk of truck collisions. Operating a commercial truck is extremely different from driving a regular passenger vehicle and drivers must know the limitations and risks that come with a large commercial truck. They must also be trained on how to handle emergency situations and how to fully comply with all of the FMCSA regulations that apply to them.
Understanding training requirements and other regulations enacted and enforced by the FMCSA can be complicated. It can be even more challenging to understand how these laws and regulations apply to truck accident lawsuits. It is imperative for any injured crash victim to discuss their rights and options with a highly skilled truck accident lawyer in Cumming, Georgia who understands truck accident law.