Cell Phone Use & Commercial Truck Drivers: What You Need to Know

The problem of commercial truck drivers using cell phones while driving is getting worse. High-speed highway travel and inattention are often a deadly combination. Regulators at both state and federal levels note the increasing number of accidents and near misses that happen when truck drivers take their eyes off the roads for even a few seconds. They are taking even greater action to limit the distractions in a trucker’s cab.

Studies Show Phones Are a Huge Distraction

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted studies that show that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who try to dial, reach or hold a device while they are driving are six times more likely to cause, or nearly cause an accident. CMV drivers reaching for phones or dialing tend to swerve out of their lanes forcing other drivers to swerve to avoid them. Drivers are also likely to deviate off the road into oncoming traffic, the center ditch or breakdown lanes. In the worst cases, they fail to brake and crash into traffic ahead that has slowed down or stopped.

Current Regulations: No Cell Phone Use Allowed

The FMCSA restricts a commercial truck driver’s use of hand-held mobile devices. CMV drivers cannot hold a cell phone, for example, to make a call or using one-touch dialing in most situations. Drivers can use only hands-free devices located nearby in the cab.
Lawmakers across the country increased fines for driving violations. They are restricting or revoking truckers’ commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) after a certain number of driving violations, including violations for driving while using a hand-held device.

Traveling at Freeway Speeds Without Watching the Road Is Hazardous

Drivers who take their eyes off the road for the-nearly 4 seconds needed to dial while traveling at freeway speeds will have traveled almost the length of a football field without once looking at the road. That is extremely frightening. In addition to the dangerous conditions these drivers create while using prohibited devices on the road, the drivers and employers are subject to substantial fines, drivers can lose their state-issued commercial driver’s licenses or have them suspended. Employers can also lose licenses and permits to operate.
CMV Drivers can use a phone that is mounted nearby the driver in the cab, so that the driver does not have to reach for the phone. They can use earphones, the speakerphone function and the hands-free dialing function. Unfortunately, semi-truck drivers across the United States are causing fatal accidents when texting or dialing while driving despite state and local regulations that restrict doing so.

CMV Drivers Can Cause Serious Accidents Using Cell Phones

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler or semi-truck, please contact us to see how we can help you. We will explain the compensation to which you may be entitled.