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What are Adverse Driving Conditions
Adverse driving conditions refer to unexpected weather or other road conditions that were not known to a driver before starting a trip or immediately before encountering them.
Examples include sudden snowstorms, unexpected fog, unanticipated road closures due to accidents, or other unforeseen events that can compromise safety.
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FMCSA’s Stance on Adverse Conditions
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) acknowledges the challenges posed by adverse driving conditions.
According to FMCSA regulations, drivers who encounter such conditions are granted an extension of the maximum allowable driving hours. However, this does not mean unlimited leeway. The extension is strictly limited, and drivers must still comply with all other Hours of Service regulations.
- The extension is generally up to 2 hours, beyond the maximum driving limits set.
- This provision can’t be used to extend the time for the cargo’s loading or unloading.
- Adherence to all other Hours of Service regulations remains mandatory.
List of Adverse Driving Conditions
This encompasses sudden snowstorms, unexpected heavy rain, fog, ice, and even strong wind gusts that weren’t forecasted.
Unexpected road closures due to accidents, unannounced roadwork, or other events leading to significant delays can be deemed as adverse conditions.
Rare but impactful, situations like protests blocking roads can also qualify.
Best Practices for Truckers
- Stay Informed: Always check weather and road conditions before and during a trip. Utilize apps and radio services tailored to truckers for real-time updates.
- Safety First: If conditions worsen, it’s essential to find a safe place to park and wait it out. Nothing is more important than safety.
- Document Everything: If you use the FMCSA’s adverse conditions provision, ensure you keep thorough records justifying your decision.
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How to use the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception Video by GPSTab