Question: Why use Indiana’s CDL Manual to question a negligent truck driver involved in collision?
Answer: Well, Indiana’s CDL Manual represents the rules that individuals must abide by to become a licensed truck driver in the State of Indiana. Some people claim that the Manual is the equivalent of law because the applicable federal regulation “essentially adopts the CDL manual by reference.” Some of the relevant language of the federal statute states: Information on how to obtain a CDL and endorsements shall be included in manuals and made available by States to CDL applicants. All information provided to the applicant shall include the following: (1) Information on the requirements for alcohol testing; (2) Information on vehicle groups and endorsements; (3) The substance of the knowledge and skills which drivers shall have for the different vehicle groups and endorsements; (4) Details of testing procedures, including the purpose of the tests, how to respond, any time limits for taking the test, and any other special procedures determined by the State of issuance; and (5) Directions for taking the tests. Thus, Indiana’s CDL manual can be used for purposes of impeaching a truck driver by referencing the contents of the manual and inquiring about specific manual guidelines while cross examining that truck driver. Indiana’s CDL Manual is about 150 pages long, so there are many areas of inquiry.