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Handheld device ban for truckers is for public safety

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2020 | Truck Accidents

It is no secret that drivers can’t operate vehicles safely when they’re distracted. While every distracted driver is a hazard to others on the roadways, truckers have very large and heavy vehicles to control. When they’re distracted, even a simple error can turn catastrophic.

Everyone on the roads deserves to be a safe as possible. It is up to each driver, including truckers, to ensure that they are operating their vehicles with this in mind. By avoiding distractions, they can make a big difference on the nation’s highways and local streets.

Truckers can’t use a mobile phone

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration forbids anyone in a commercial vehicle from using a handheld mobile phone. This includes talking, texting or any other use of it. If they are caught using the phone with their hands, they can be put out of service, fined and disqualified.

There is an exception for devices that are used for dispatching the truckers; however, texting is still forbidden. The device must be one that’s used in conjunction with the fleet management system. Additionally, truckers can use hands-free options that are available for mobile devices.

Safety must come first

One of the reasons why the FMCSA has banned hand-held mobile phone use is that it is just too unsafe. Commercial motor vehicle drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to have a safety-critical even than those who aren’t texting. Even dialing the phone is dangerous. Truckers who are doing that are six times more likely to have a safety-critical event.

With the risks in mind, it is imperative to clarify what actions aren’t safe. Truckers shouldn’t hold, reach for, dial numbers, or text on a phone. They also shouldn’t read things on their phone while they’re driving.

The FMCSA put reaching for a mobile device into the regulations. This means that a trucker who can’t reach the device from a seated position while still wearing a seatbelt shouldn’t try to get the phone.

When a crash occurs

If you’re the victim of a crash with a semitruck, you will likely need medical care. This might be ongoing, depending on the severity of your injuries. Ensure that you get that care. You may opt to seek compensation for the financial damages you suffer in the crash, so determining whether distraction or another factor was the cause is beneficial.