The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration contains various rules restricting how commercial truck drivers use mobile devices. These rules strictly forbid commercial truck drivers from using a mobile phone to text while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines texting as reading text from or physically entering text into an electronic device which includes e-mailing, instant messaging, and message services in addition to pressing more than one button at a time on a mobile device. Texting is particularly dangerous while driving a commercial truck because the driver’s attention are taken off the road for a significant period of time. Yet, commercial truck drivers continue to text in substantial numbers. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2015 there 361 total crashes in the rural areas of Texas due to texting by truck drivers. This article will examine the role that texting plays in contributing to substantial accidents involving commercial trucks.
How Texting While Driving Causes Accidents
It is essential that drivers possess the physical and mental ability to quickly respond to hazard and various conditions that are encountered on the road. There are several reasons why using a cell phone can lead to a car accident, which include the following:
- Drivers who are engaged in exciting text conversations might not be able to focus properly on driving commercial motor vehicles.
- Physical Impairments. Commercial truck drivers who are busy texting cannot properly turn the steering wheel because the drivers have one hand occupied.
- Texting distracts commercial truck drivers from watching the road for dangerous conditions that might arise suddenly.
Potential Consequences of Texting While Driving
Law enforcement has a difficult time catching truck drivers who are texting. For one reason, truck drivers sit high in vehicles which can be difficult for law enforcement to observe. Truck drivers also monitor police communication, which means that other truck drivers are aware of where law enforcement is situated on the road. When commercial truck drivers are caught texting by law enforcement, the resultant consequences can be substantial. Drivers who are found using mobile phones while driving a commercial motor vehicle can face fines up to several thousand dollars. The driver’s employer can also be fined. Drivers who charged with multiple violations of using mobile phones while driving a commercial motor vehicle can be disqualified to have a commercial driver’s license for up to 120 days.
The Federal Motor Carrier safety recommends that drivers neither text nor read message on mobile phone while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving texting, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.