What is a CDL?
To operate a tractor-trailer, a driver must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License commonly called a CDL. The rules for each state vary slightly. In Georgia, a CDL has several more stringent requirements than a regular license.
- Age: The driver must be 18 years of age to drive a tractor trailer, dump truck, bus or other commercial vehicle. Even then, the driver is limited to driving in the State of Georgia. To drive interstate, a person must be 21 years of age.
- Written Exam: Similar to a regular license holder, a Commercial Driver’s License Holder must submit to a written knowledge exam. The written knowledge exam is based on information in the Georgia Commercial Driver’s Manual.
- Medical Certification: Unlike a regular license, a commercial driver’s license requires a medical certification. This is based on a Federal Rule that requires a commercial driver be physically and mentally fit to operate a big rig. The questions that typically appear on a medical certification include: (a) hear/brain injuries; (b) seizure issues; and, (c) fainting or passing out, among many others.
- Road Skills Test: A CDL driver, like a regular driver, must demonstrate that they are capable of operating a commercial vehicle through passing a skills test. This includes parallel parking, backing, using the clutch, turning, and other road skills—all while operating a tractor-trailer.
In addition, even after a CDL is obtained, a driver may need an endorsement in order to operate a particular type of commercial vehicle. A truck hauling hazardous material, such as gasoline, will need to pass an endorsement exam. Having a CDL is just one of the basic differences in truck accidents and why hiring an Atlanta truck accident lawyer is important if you have a tractor-trailer wreck claim.
This is an article in our series entitled “Why hire an Atlanta truck accident lawyer?” In this series, we discuss some of the unique rules that apply to Georgia tractor trailer wrecks. As an Atlanta truck accident law firm that has recovered millions of dollars for injured plaintiffs and defended some of the largest truck companies in the United States, we are uniquely qualified to handle Georgia truck wreck successfully.