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Distracted Driving Rules for Commercial Drivers

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Texting while driving a passenger car is dangerous enough. Can you imagine how catastrophic it could be if someone driving an 18-wheeler was paying attention to their phone rather than the road?

Distracted driving laws vary from state to state, so the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have issued rules specific to Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers. Here are the basic rules drivers must follow:

  • No texting while driving. This includes SMS, e-mailing, instant messaging, typing to call up a website, or pressing more than one button to call or hang up on someone.
  • Use of mobile phones is restricted. CMV drivers cannot reach for a device, hold a mobile phone, or press multiple buttons.
  • Drivers can still use a mobile phone, but must do so within the guidelines. They can use an earpiece or Bluetooth-enabled device, or put the phone on speaker. Dialing should also only be done using a one-button touch feature or voice-activation.

If a truck driver is caught violating these rules, he could be forced to pay a fine up to $2,750 and disqualification for multiple offenses. A trucking company that allows or encourages their drivers to use a mobile phone unsafely could face penalties up to $11,000. These fines may seem steep, but the FMCSA notes that the odds of a driver being involved in some sort of crash are 23.2 times greater when they are texting while driving.

If you were involved in a Connecticut truck accident, contact the Groton personal injury attorneys at the Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., by calling 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888 717 4211.  

Category: Truck Accidents


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