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Truck driver training rule will apply to new applicants

People in Mississippi and throughout the country who obtain their commercial driver's licenses on or after Feb. 7, 2020 will be subject to new training regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The rule, which came into effect on June 5 after a five-month delay, allows nearly three years for trainers, carriers and others to become compliant.

As part of the new rule, the FMCSA will maintain a registry of trainers who have been certified by the agency after meeting a set of criteria. New drivers will be required to get training from people off this registry. The FMCSA has created a core curriculum for drivers, and there is also a requirement for behind-the-wheel training.

In its original form, the rule had a minimum requirement of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training. Although this was broadly supported throughout the industry, the FMCSA removed the minimum for the rule's final version. Some industry stakeholders are now trying to get the minimum hours requirement reinstated.

Truck accidents may happen for a variety of reasons. A driver might be poorly trained or driving carelessly. The driver could be fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted. Any of these situations could lead to an accident that is much more serious than an accident involving cars because of the size of trucks. Multiple vehicles could be involved, hazardous materials could be spilled, and smaller cars could go under the trucks themselves, which may tear off a car's roof. People who are seriously injured in a truck accident may need the help of an attorney when seeking compensation to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

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