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Commercial truckers and distracted driving: What you need to know

It's tempting to reach for your smartphone or a hamburger after several hours on the highway when you're a truck driver. The endless hours of driving can feel relentless and boring.

However, truckers need to follow the rules and refrain from using their smartphone and other handheld electronic devices. In fact, they should probably refrain from eating that hamburger if they want to avoid getting into trouble or causing a fatal accident.

There are a few things truckers need to know about distracted driving. These include:

  • New regulations from the FMCSA have outlawed texting while driving and use of a cellphone while driving a commercial vehicle between states.
  • Drivers who are found to be using a cellphone or texting could face disqualifications, fines and not being able to work as a truck driver anymore.
  • Truck drivers can still use dispatch devices as long as they're approved by their fleet management and as long as they're not texting with them.
  • Truck drivers who text have a 23 times higher chance of getting into a "safety-critical" situation.
  • Truck drivers dialing a number on a mobile phone have a six times higher chance of getting into a "safety-critical" situation.

If the above rules and penalties are not sufficient to prevent a truck driver from texting while driving or using a cellphone while driving, probably nothing will. It's certainly hoped that truck drivers adhere to the rules regarding mobile devices.

If they don't and an accident results, the people harmed by those accidents will have the right to pursue financial claims in court. If you or your family member got hurt by a distracted truck driver, you may want to learn more about the compensatory remedies that could be available to you.

Source: Trucking Truth, "Distracted Driving For Truck Drivers: The Penalties And Risks," Brett Aquila, accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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