Commercial drivers can’t legally use a cellphone while driving | The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2017 | Distracted Driving |

People today use their phones for almost everything. There are very few places where you won’t find someone on a cellphone. Despite this fact, there is one person who shouldn’t ever use a cellphone — a driver.

Drivers who are distracted by a phone are putting themselves and others in danger. When it comes to commercial vehicle drivers, including truckers, there are specific laws that forbid them from using a phone while they drive.

Very limited use of a phone is allowed

The rule does allow for drivers to use hands-free devices. A driver of a commercial vehicle is allowed to press a single button and that is the limit to what the driver is allowed to do. Interestingly, these drivers are also forbidden from reaching for the phone if it is unsafe to do so. Plus, they can’t hold the cellphone while they drive.

Truckers and commercial drivers are allowed to use speakerphone functions or earpieces when they drive. They should have the phone in a place where it is easy for them to reach. Using single button features or voice activated commands are also acceptable for these drivers.

Dangers of distracted truckers

Truckers who are distracted by a mobile phone might miss things that are going on around them, which could lead to an accident. On average, a person who is texting will look at one’s phone for around 4.6 seconds. In just five seconds, the truck will drive the entire length of one football field if the truck is moving at 55 miles per hour. This means that in one single text, the trucker would drive that far without ever looking at the road in front of him or her.

Truckers who are texting are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in some sort of safety-critical event than drivers who are paying attention to the road. These events include crashing into something, leaving their lane of travel, almost being involved in a crash, and other similar events.

Even truckers who don’t text are at an increased risk of a safety-critical event. Simply by having the phone in their hands, truckers are six times more likely to have one of these incidents than they are when they aren’t holding a phone.

Victims of crashes caused by truckers on cellphones might suffer from serious injuries. These individuals will likely need medical care and time to heal. This may have a negative impact on their finances and way of life. Obtaining the proof that the trucker was on the phone when the accident occurred may help a claim for compensation.