More to lose for commercial carriers

Most drivers are aware of the risk associated with distracted driving. In recent years, cell phone use while driving has become a major topic of concern, particularly for commercial truck drivers. Very often, commercial truck operators will use their cell phones during long-haul trips to communicate with other drivers, their headquarters, or their families. While placing a call to family may not be such a big deal, using a cell phone while operating a semi-truck is not only dangerous, but it is negligent as well. Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published new guidelines specifically addressing the problem of cell phone use in commercial truck drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, with help from the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has developed rules prohibiting bus drivers, interstate truck drivers, and hazardous material truck drivers from using any handheld cellular devices and texting while driving. These new regulations are the newest actions brought about by the U.S. Department of Transportation in an attempt to eliminate the problem of distracted driving.

According to the new guidelines, commercial motor vehicle operators can no longer use handheld cell phones, text or read a text while driving. Any act of dialing a number from a mobile device that requires more than a single button touch is also prohibited. Violations of these new rules will result in penalties, fines and possibly driver disqualification.

These new FMCSA guidelines do allow commercial truck drivers to place calls with hands-free devices that are within close proximity to the driver. Essentially, these rules prohibit drivers from holding, reaching for and pressing multiple buttons of any cellular device.

Unfortunately, despite best efforts there are still some commercial truck drivers who still use cell phones while driving. These distractions are not only dangerous, but they may cause accidents and serious injury to others. Individuals that have suffered an injury or loss as a result of commercial truck driver negligence or distracted driving may benefit by working with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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