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Study shows commercial drivers lack understanding of regulations

Perhaps no one spends as much time on the road as a commercial vehicle driver. Those who make their living driving trucks and buses across the state and the country often log thousands of hours behind the wheel every year. They must carry out their tasks competently and efficiently to make it to their destinations safely and on schedule.

Given the challenges inherent in operating trucks and buses, it is imperative that drivers have a full understanding of the federal safety regulations to which they must adhere. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rules are in place to help keep everyone, drivers, passengers and all other road users, safe while traveling on our county's thoroughfares.

Unfortunately, a study conducted by the American Trucking Associations indicates that many drivers are woefully lacking in their understanding of the FMCSA's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Almost 7,800 bus and truck drivers were surveyed every year from 2011 to 2013. According to the results, the drivers answered questions pertaining to the CSA program with less than 43 percent accuracy.

The report also indicated that there had been an increase in the percentage of drivers who received carrier-provided CSA training. This indicates that some carriers are making an effort to inform their drivers about CSA. However, the results do raise questions about the effectiveness of this training, which, according to the report, is an issue that will be examined in the future.

Clearly, there is room for improvement in the area of CSA training. Driving a bus or a truck is an awesome responsibility and those who undertake the task need to fully understand federal regulations. If a driver does not understand the regulations, he or she may be less likely to follow very important safety procedures.

If you are ever involved in a commercial motor vehicle accident, either as a passenger on a bus or as an occupant of another vehicle, you may wish to have an attorney investigate the incident. The attorney may be able to determine if the accident was due to the driver not complying with one or more federal regulations.