Distracted driving is not only an unsafe practice that drivers of passenger vehicles engage in—it is also a huge reason that negligent truck drivers cause accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and death. Given the long hours that truckers drive every day, they can be even more tempted than other drivers to pick up their cell phones or engage in other distractions that take their eyes and minds off the road—with all the other people on the road paying the price if an accident occurs.
FMCSA Rules Prohibits Cell Phone Usage and Texting
The use of cell phones when driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving that a truck driver can engage in. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers who dial on a cell phone are six times more likely to be involved in a critical event—such as an accident, a near-accident, or unintentional lane change—than those who do not. Truckers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in one of these dangerous driving incidents. As a result, the FMCSA has implemented the following rules regarding trucker texting and using a cell phone:
- Truckers are prohibited from texting or reading a text while driving.
- Truckers can only use a hands-free cell phone in close proximity while driving.
- Truckers are specifically prohibited from holding a cell phone to make a call or dialing a cell phone by pressing more than a single button.
Truck drivers who violate these rules could be disqualified from driving a commercial truck and be fined up to $2,750. Trucking companies that allow or require truckers to hold and use a cell phone may be fined up to $11,000.
What Are Other Types of Distracted Driving Practices?
Talking on a cell phone and texting are not the only dangerous practices that truckers engage in that lead to wrecks. Other types of distracted driving include:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Engaging in personal grooming
- Adjusting instrument controls
- Using a GPS or other navigational system
- Watching a video
Did a distracted truck driver cause you or a loved one to suffer injuries in a truck crash? Our experienced truck accident legal team is here to guide you through the complicated process of filing your claim and negotiating your settlement for you. Schedule your free consultation by filling out our online form today.