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FMCSA’s New Commercial Truck Driver Training Rule Goes into Effect

Trucking accidents almost always result in serious injuries.  Driver error can play a major role in commercial trucking accidents in and around the Atlanta region.  A new federal administration’s rule that applies to entry level truck driver training standards went into effect in the month of February.  It’s intended effect is to help curb the number of errors made by truck drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule applies to entry level drivers who want to make a profession as a truck driver. The rule is called the Entry Level Driver Training rule, and went into effect on February 7. The rule sets the basic minimum baseline requirements for entry level truck driver training programs.

The new rule will apply to any entry level drivers who want to obtain a class A or class B commercial driver’s license, drivers who wish to upgrade their current license from a B to an A level, or wish to obtain bus and hazardous materials endorsements.  The rule requires that entry level drivers who want to operate commercial trucks professionally go through the training providers that are listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. This listing of providers went online recently. Once a driver selects a provider from the listing, he must undergo the training program before he appears for the CDL skills test. If the driver is applying for an endorsement for hazardous materials for the first time, he needs to undergo the knowledge test.

The new rule is part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s move to standardize commercial driver training programs in order to enhance skills and reduce the risk of accidents on our highways. The rule does not apply retroactively. Commercial drivers who currently have a commercial driver’s license and have not undergone these training programs do not have to undergo the training for their endorsements.  All new entry level drivers, however, must now make use of federally mandated providers only.

Drivers who are inadequately skilled or inexperienced play a major role in truck accidents every year. The role of a driver is important even when handling a small passenger vehicle, but when it comes to steering a massive 80,000 pound tractor trailer or 18–wheeler, the role of the driver becomes absolutely crucial. Handling a massive vehicle while looking out for smaller vehicles on the highway and maintaining speed levels, can be challenging for a commercial truck driver. Standardized training by reputed providers will ensure that a new generation of truck drivers on our roads is equipped with the training and skills necessary to avoid accidents as these vehicles ply our highways.

Being involved in a truck accident can be a traumatic experience. Commercial truck accidents can be disastrous for the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved in the accident, and can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Trucking accident claims can be more complicated than auto accident claims. Claims can name more than a single party, thereby maximizing the potential for monetary damages. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident in the Atlanta region or anywhere in Georgia, talk to an Atlanta trucking accident attorney at the Katz Law Firm and discuss your options to a claim for damages.    

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