Proper training is essential for truck and bus drivers. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are significantly heavier, taller, and more difficult to control than passenger cars. Without proper training, commercial drivers are more likely to cause a collision.
Training standards for truck and bus drivers are subject to review and change, which can significantly impact a truck or bus accident-related personal injury case. If you’ve been injured in an accident, the Law Offices of Pius Joseph can determine whether a lack of qualifications contributed to the wreck. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Current Regulations for Truck and Bus Driver Training
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the national agency primarily responsible for setting training standards for truck and bus drivers operating across state lines. California sets its own requirements for issuing commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and CMVs operating entirely within state lines. The interaction between these two sets of regulations is complex.
Per the California DMV, the current requirements to obtain a CDL are:
- Drivers must be 18 years old for trips that start and end within state lines or 21 years old for interstate trips or transporting hazardous materials.
- Drivers must carry a valid non-commercial driver’s license before applying for a CDL.
- Drivers must complete an online application to obtain a CDL learner’s permit.
- Drivers must hold a CDL learner’s permit for 14 days if they have not previously had a CDL or wish to add a new classification or endorsement to their existing CDL.
- After holding a learner’s permit for 14 days, drivers can visit a DMV office to complete the required knowledge test, pass a vision and medical exam, verify their identity, and have the DMV check their driving history.
- Drivers with a valid commercial learner’s permit can apply for a full CDL by scheduling an appointment for the required skills test. Drivers must bring their own vehicle to the skills test.
What is Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)?
All commercial driving training courses must comply with Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) standards set by FMCSA. Having one set of nationwide standards helps promote driver safety by ensuring everyone applying for a CDL learns the same skills.
According to the FMCSA, the ELDT standards apply to anyone seeking a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time, anyone wishing to upgrade from a Class B to a Class A CDL, and anyone applying for a school bus, passenger, or hazardous materials endorsement for the first time. The FMCSA does not specify where truck drivers must learn these skills as long as the training provider is registered with the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
Skills Required for the Safe Operation of Commercial Vehicles
According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), ELDT courses must cover the following skills:
- Basic operation of a commercial motor vehicle
- Safe operation of a CMV
- Vehicle systems and when to report a malfunction
- Hours-of-service regulations and other rules pertaining to non-driving activities
Prospective drivers must also take an on-the-road test to demonstrate knowledge of the required skills.
Importance of Complying with Commercial Driving Safety Standards
Truck drivers are much more likely to injure themselves or others in a collision when they do not follow safety regulations. These rules exist to protect commercial drivers and others on the road, and violating them significantly increases a commercial driver’s chances of causing a crash.
What to Do After an Accident With an Inexperienced Bus or Truck Driver
Here’s what to do if you get into a crash with a novice truck or bus driver:
- Call 911 to report the collision to the police.
- Ask the driver for their name, contact information, insurance information, and employment information.
- Take pictures of your injuries, the damage to all vehicles involved in the crash, and the accident scene.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Save all your medical records and receipts.
- Do not talk to any insurance companies before meeting with an attorney.
- Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Get Help From the Law Offices of Pius Joseph – Personal Injury Attorney
There’s no excuse for an unqualified truck or bus driver to get behind the wheel. If driver inexperience contributed to the accident that injured you, consult a Pasadena commercial motor vehicle accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph. We can identify the responsible party(s) and hold them accountable for the harm they caused. Contact us today to learn about your rights to compensation in a free consultation.