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Understanding the New Federal Training Standards for Truck Drivers

Federal Training Standards for Truck DriversA recent report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revealed that nearly 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in U.S. highways in 2014.  Even though this figure represents a five percent decrease from 2013, it is still a matter of great public concern considering that most causes of commercial vehicle accidents are preventable.  The most common causes of truck accidents include hour of service violations (fatigued drivers), intoxicated or impaired drivers, improperly loaded cargo, improper vehicle maintenance, and negligent hiring, training, and supervision.

The FMCSA is the federal agency tasked with regulating and preventing catastrophic accidents by adopting regulations, collectively known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  On December 7, 2016, the FMCSA adopted a Final Rule addressing the knowledge and skills necessary for a driver to operate commercial vehicles safely, by establishing national minimum standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus drivers seeking to obtain commercial driver’s license.

All entry-level applicants seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license must demonstrate proficiency and knowledge in truck driving, which includes a behind the wheel training on a driving range and on public road.  Although there is no requirement as to the number of hours required, the training must be obtained from a program that meets FMCSA standards.  In addition, training providers must not only ensure that each applicant is proficient in all required elements of the training, but also that the applicant has successfully completed the corresponding course.

This new regulation constitutes one more safeguard aimed at keeping the roads safe for the public by ensuring that all trucking companies have qualified and competent drivers.  Unfortunately, there will always be trucking companies who will put their profit margins before safety and who will continue to ignore any regulation that may impose a financial burden on them without regard to the safety of others.

If you or a loved have been involved in a truck wreck and has suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of trucking company, please contact us for a free consultation.  The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have successfully handled complex truck wreck cases.  Our attorneys have vast experience dealing with trucking regulations, as well as knowledge regarding all the obligations and duties of trucking companies.