1. Use of Extreme Caution by Truck Driver in Hazardous Conditions
Extreme caution is required by the operator of a tractor trailer in adverse and/or hazardous weather conditions. Much like the operator of a passenger motor vehicle should use heightened caution in the operation of his/her motor vehicle in adverse/hazardous weather conditions, so too is a tractor trailer driver required to use heightened caution. Actually, the tractor trailer driver is specifically required to use extreme caution in adverse/hazardous weather conditions.
§392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, states “Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect the visibility or traction.” It further indicates “Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist.” It goes on to state “If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated.”
2. Drug and Alcohol Use and Testing Thereof
Drivers required to have a commercial drivers license under Part 383 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations must be tested for drug and/or alcohol use if they drive a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds including a towed unit weighing more than 10,000 pounds, or with a gross vehicle rating of more than 26,000 pounds, or designed to transport sixteen or more passengers including the driver or used to transport hazardous materials.