Adverse Driving Conditions

Written by Nick Webster

Published on May 7, 2023, 11:29 a.m.

Adverse Driving Conditions

Per the FMCSA, here are what adverse driving conditions are:

  • Adverse driving conditions can include fog, dust storms, rain, snow, and ice.
  • Poor visibility due to darkness or other hazards.
  • High winds or water on the road. You will need driver qualification files.
  • Any hazardous condition that could impede the driver’s vision or control of the vehicle.
  • The inability of a commercial motor vehicle driver to read traffic signs and signals because of their placement or lack thereof. Also, visit the link to know more.
  • Extremely crowded highways with frequent lane changes and merging vehicles.
  • Construction zones may require special maneuvers such as crossing over into another lane without slowing down first. Must visit BOC-3.
  • Animals in the roadway obstruct clear passage through the highway.

What Does “Adverse Conditions” for Driving Mean?

If a driver is in the middle of a trip and an unexpected snowstorm hits, or if they're driving on roads that are unusually icy or foggy, they may be able to take advantage of the FMCSA's adverse conditions exception. In these cases, it might be permissible for them to exceed the hours-of-service limits that would otherwise apply. Must visit FMCSA Adverse Driving Conditions.

Adverse weather events such as snow, sleet, and ice (as well as any other unusual road or traffic conditions) all qualify for this exception. Drivers need to be aware of their options in these situations so that they can make informed decisions about how best to proceed. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What Is the Adverse Conditions Exception?

When unexpected weather or road conditions arise, drivers may be eligible for the Adverse Conditions Exception. According to the FMCSA, if a driver believes they can't safely finish their run within the maximum driving time or duty time allotted due to these circumstances, they are permitted additional hours of driving to complete or get to a safe location. This means an extra two hours of drive time and a 14-hour shift window. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

When Can I Use the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception?

Whenever you find yourself in an exceptional situation that would impede your ability to complete a trip within FMCSA's normal hours of duty status regulations, the exception may be used. There is no restriction on when the exception can or cannot be applied. Just make sure to document it in your ELD before taking advantage of it! What is DOT SAP Program?

How Often Can I Apply the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception?

FMCSA officials do not specify how often a driver can utilize the adverse driving conditions exception. This is because it is meant to be used sparingly, only in extreme cases such as severe weather or unexpected road closures that could prevent a driver from completing their trip within the normal HOS regulations. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

Ultimately, any decision regarding the use of this exception will depend on the interpretation of whoever is conducting a roadside inspection or DOT compliance review. Drivers need to remember that no matter what exceptions they may apply for, safety should always be their top priority when on the roads. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How to get Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

More Information About the FMCSA Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) designates adverse driving conditions as extreme weather, snow/ice-covered highways, and unexpected road/traffic circumstances not known to the dispatcher or driver before beginning the run. Importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

If inclement weather or road conditions make it difficult for your drivers to travel at their usual pace, they may drive up to two extra hours. This increases the maximum driving time for property motor carriers to 13 hours and for passenger carriers to 12 hours. Keep in mind that these extended times can only be used when unexpected adverse driving conditions slow them down. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

It's important to be aware that the adverse conditions exemption only applies to driving time. This means that regardless of what the current situation is, property motor carriers are unable to drive after having been on duty for 14 consecutive hours and passenger motor carriers cannot continue driving after 15 consecutive hours. These regulations must be adhered to to keep drivers safe on the road. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Ensure Compliance with the DOT When Using the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

If your drivers utilize an electronic logging device (ELD), they must record any adverse driving conditions in their Record of Duty Status (RODS) and include details about the condition. Even if you are utilizing paper logs or another form of logging, it is still beneficial to log in when such conditions arise. This will aid you in creating a comprehensive report and helping you stay compliant with regulations. Knowing what circumstances your drivers experience out on the road can help prevent future problems, as well as alert you to potential safety risks for them. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

RODS provide the perfect opportunity for your drivers to document weather and/or road conditions during spring storms, ensuring their activities fall under the adverse driving conditions exception. This way, you can stay on top of DOT compliance without any hassle. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

We Provide Full-Scale DOT Compliance Solutions

The Adverse Driving Conditions Exception is an important tool for helping your drivers safely arrive at their destinations without having to break the traditional Hours-of-Service (HOS) restrictions. What is MC Number? Ensuring that your drivers are aware of and use this exception appropriately, even in springtime, is key to avoiding compliance reviews from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. By familiarizing yourself with this exception and sharing it with your drivers, you can help keep everyone safe while staying within standard regulations.

Navigating the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can be tricky, but with our DOT compliance software, your company can stay ahead of interventions. Our software allows you to quickly keep up with hours-of-service regulations while ensuring that all required recordkeeping is compliant with FMCSA standards. Rest easy knowing that you're prepared for an audit and by federal guidelines. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

Ready to get your DOT compliance on track? Request a free demonstration with one of our experts today. We'll provide the answers you need to understand all of your requirements and clarify any queries surrounding hours of service. Plus, we've got you covered if you're looking for an easy ELD solution! Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then have the ability to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

    Summary: What Are the FMCSA’s Adverse Driving Conditions?

    • Inclement weather, including snow, ice, sleet, fog, or heavy rain.
    • High winds
    • Poor visibility due to smoke or dust storms. Must visit the link to know more.
    • Hazards created by other vehicles on the road
    • Mechanical issues with the vehicle, such as flat tires or engine trouble
    • Traffic delays caused by construction zones or crashes
    • Extreme temperatures could cause a driver to become fatigued.