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Training standards set for new truck drivers

Many West Virginia motorists have likely come across accidents involving large trucks. In an attempt to improve overall safety on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established standards for new truck driver training. The rule setting the standards was finally enacted later than expected due to delays resulting from the Trump administration's regulatory review.

The rule, which provides a compliance window of nearly three years, will apply to all drivers who receive their CDL on or after Feb. 7, 2020. The standards include a core curriculum that must be taught to all driver trainees and CDL applicants by certified trainers. These trainers must receive their certification from the FMCSA after meeting the agency's criteria and be listed on a national registry.

The core curriculum includes behind-the-wheel training. However, a minimum number of hours was not included in the final rule, a move that has been criticized by the trucking industry overall, which had recommended 30 hours. Industry lobbyists are urging the FMCSA to reinstate this requirement.

These federal trucking regulations have been designed to provide new drivers with the tools necessary to face the different challenges they might encounter on the road. They might also be useful in preventing accidents involving other vehicles. However, when collisions do occur, occupants of smaller cars that are involved in the crash are at risk of suffering catastrophic injuries. If the cause of the accident was improper truck driver training, an attorney for an injured victim might find it advisable to name the trucking company as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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