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Dealing with hazardous driving conditions as a commercial driver

When you work for a commercial motor carrier in Northern Virginia, you know that the pressure of pleasing your customers is ever-present. This is especially true when you transport passengers.  While you want to ensure that you get passengers to their destination on time, every time, their safety must come first. Many come to us here at The Law Offices of Locklin and Coleman PLLC wondering at what point safety concerns override the desire to get customers to their destination on time.  Some might say that is a judgment call, yet federal law refutes that. 

Section 392.14 of the Code of Federal Regulations mandates that extreme caution should be used when operating commercial vehicles in hazardous conditions that can impede either traction or visibility. Specific hazards cited by the Federal Regulations include: 

  • Snow
  • Rain
  • Sleet
  • Fog or mist
  • Dust 
  • Smoke

When driving in these conditions, you should only go as fast as is reasonable in order to maintain control of your vehicle. This standard holds true even if slowing down means that your arrival times may be delayed. If hazardous conditions make driving at all unsafe, you should cease to do so until you can ensure passenger safety. 

What if you are in the middle of a route when conditions make continued driving dangerous? Depending on the circumstances, stopping could also put passengers at risk. In such a situation, you are permitted to remain driving until such point as road conditions improve or you find a location where you can stop and wait out the delay safely. 

More information on keeping commercial vehicle passengers safe can be found on our site. 

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