Distracted Driving – Safety Regulations For Truck Drivers
It used to be years ago, that when a trucker was on the road, they had the ability to be on their phone. Maybe they needed to talk to their loved ones or perhaps they needed to check in with their boss somewhere along the route.
But, these days, more and more commercial trucks are either causing accidents or are secondary to accidents happening on the roadways. Because of this, the FMCSA and the PHMSA have both published and enforce safety regulations regarding distracted driving, including both texting and talking on the phone.
NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
Commercial motor vehicles of any kind are now prohibited from texting while driving. It doesn’t matter if you are using short text, instant messaging someone, going to a website, or even emailing on your phone. None of this is allowed. According to safety regulations, any “activity” that takes more than one single action (pressing of a button) is prohibited.
USE OF MOBILE PHONES
Talking or sending voice messages is also now prohibited by law. The commercial motor vehicle driver rules now restrict a driver from reaching for a phone at all. The only way you’re allowed to use a mobile phone while driving is if it is hands-free which means:
– The mobile phone has to be nearby for you to use it.
– The driver cannot remove their seatbelt to find the phone
– The driver has to use an earpiece
– The driver has to use hands-free or one-touch features on the phone
RISKS OF USING MOBILE PHONES
We know just how dangerous it is to text and drive or make phone calls while behind the wheel. It’s dangerous enough when someone is driving a 2700 pound Honda Civic. How much more so when driving an 80,000 pound commercial 18 wheeler truck?
The FMCSA and PHMSA have verified that commercial truck drivers are 23.2x more likely to get involved in a crash than those who do NOT use mobile phones on the road. On average, texting drivers take their eyes off the road for a total of 4.6 seconds. A lot can happen in 4.6 seconds while barreling down the highway, going 60MPH with 80,000 lbs trailing behind you.
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