(a) All CMV operators must have knowledge of the following 20 general areas:
(1) Safe operations regulations. Driver-related elements of the regulations contained in parts 391, 392, 393, 395, 396, and 397 of this subchapter, such as:
(i) Motor vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance requirements;
(ii) Procedures for safe vehicle operations;
(iii) The effects of fatigue, poor vision, hearing impairment, and general health upon safe commercial motor vehicle operation;
(iv) The types of motor vehicles and cargoes subject to the requirements contained in part 397 of this subchapter; and
(v) The effects of alcohol and drug use upon safe commercial motor vehicle operations.
(2) Safe vehicle control systems. The purpose and function of the controls and instruments commonly found on CMVs.
(3) CMV safety control systems.(i) Proper use of the motor vehicle's safety system, including lights, horns, side and rear-view mirrors, proper mirror adjustments, fire extinguishers, symptoms of improper operation revealed through instruments, motor vehicle operation characteristics, and diagnosing malfunctions.
(ii) CMV drivers must have knowledge of the correct procedures needed to use these safety systems in an emergency situation, e.g., skids and loss of brakes.
(4) Basic control. The proper procedures for performing various basic maneuvers, including:
(i) Starting, warming up, and shutting down the engine;
(ii) Putting the vehicle in motion and stopping;
(iii) Backing in a straight line; and
(iv) Turning the vehicle, e.g., basic rules, off tracking, right/left turns and right curves.
(5) Shifting. The basic shifting rules and terms for common transmissions, including:
(i) Key elements of shifting, e.g., controls, when to shift, and double clutching;
(ii) Shift patterns and procedures; and
(iii) Consequences of improper shifting.
(6) Backing. The procedures and rules for various backing maneuvers, including:
(i) Backing principles and rules; and
(ii) Basic backing maneuvers, e.g., straight-line backing, and backing on a curved path.
(7) Visual search. The importance of proper visual search, and proper visual search methods, including:
(i) Seeing ahead and to the sides;
(ii) Use of mirrors; and
(iii) Seeing to the rear.
(8) Communication. The principles and procedures for proper communications and the hazards of failure to signal properly, including:
(i) Signaling intent, e.g., signaling when changing direction in traffic;
(ii) Communicating presence, e.g., using horn or lights to signal presence; and
(iii) Misuse of communications.
(9) Speed management. The importance of understanding the effects of speed, including:
(i) Speed and stopping distance;
(ii) Speed and surface conditions;
(iii) Speed and the shape of the road;
(iv) Speed and visibility; and
(v) Speed and traffic flow.
(10) Space management. The procedures and techniques for controlling the space around the vehicle, including:
(i) The importance of space management;
(ii) Space cushions, e.g., controlling space ahead/to the rear;
(iii) Space to the sides; and
(iv) Space for traffic gaps.
(11) Night operation. Preparations and procedures for night driving, including:
(12) Extreme driving conditions. The basic information on operating in extreme driving conditions and the hazards encountered in such conditions, including:
(i) Bad weather, e.g., snow, ice, sleet, high wind;
(ii) Hot weather; and
(iii) Mountain driving.
(13) Hazard perceptions. The basic information on hazard perception and clues for recognition of hazards, including:
(i) Road characteristics; and
(ii) Road user activities.
(14) Emergency maneuvers. The basic information concerning when and how to make emergency maneuvers, including:
(i) Evasive steering;
(ii) Emergency stop;
(iii) Off road recovery;
(iv) Brake failure; and
(15) Skid control and recovery. The information on the causes and major types of skids, as well as the procedures for recovering from skids.
(16) Relationship of cargo to vehicle control. The principles and procedures for the proper handling of cargo, including:
(i) Consequences of improperly secured cargo, drivers' responsibilities, and Federal/State and local regulations;
(ii) Principles of weight distribution; and
(iii) Principles and methods of cargo securement.
(17) Vehicle inspections. The objectives and proper procedures for performing vehicle safety inspections, as follows:
(i) The importance of periodic inspection and repair to vehicle safety.
(ii) The effect of undiscovered malfunctions upon safety.
(iii) What safety-related parts to look for when inspecting vehicles, e.g., fluid leaks, interference with visibility, bad tires, wheel and rim defects, braking system defects, steering system defects, suspension system defects, exhaust system defects, coupling system defects, and cargo problems.