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Safety Rules for Commercial Vehicle Operation Part 5

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

As noted in our last four podcasts, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations set out the rules for commercial vehicle operation.

This fifth and last podcast on this topic focuses on commercial truck driving schools.

Commercial truck driving schools are far different from high school driver training courses.

At truck driving school, drivers will learn and be tested about:

  • – vehicle braking systems
  • – backing, turning, and safe forward movement
  • – shifting
  • – space management
  • – visual lookout, distance scanning, and search
  • – speed management
  • – night driving
  • – driving under extreme driving conditions
  • – skid control and recovery
  • – fatigue avoidance
  • – hazardous materials rules
  • – inspection of braking, lighting, and other systems
  • – log keeping
  • – cargo management
  • – mirror adjustment
  • – blind space management
  • – mountain driving
  • – communications
  • – alcohol and drugs
  • – fire dangers
  • – hot weather driving
  • – driving courtesy and right-of-way management

As you can see, a good training school will cover all the main topics required to be a safe commercial vehicle operator.

When conducting a jury trial involving the negligent operation of commercial vehicles, the attorney must be nearly as knowledgeable as a CDL holder.

In a rear end collision case, the jury will need to know for example, that due to how truck braking systems function and how stopping distance is vastly longer for heavy vehicles, a truck driver will be negligent if they were following only 5 – 7 car lengths behind the victim’s car, when they should have been following 5 – 7 truck lengths behind.

Likewise, while a 4-wheel drive car might be able to operate safety at 45 mph on packed snow, a truck operating under such extreme driving conditions would be negligent if it did not slow to 25 mph.

Similarly, a jury will need to learn that skid control and recovery for a driver operating a 4-wheel vehicle is vastly different for someone driving an 18-wheeler.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”