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Not Texting for Truckers: It’s a Federal Law

Not Texting for Truckers: It’s a Federal Law

Each state has its own laws about using a cellphone to make and receive calls while driving; however, in all states, it’s against the law for people to text while driving. Texting while driving is the most alarming form of driver distraction because it involves people taking their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their mind of the task of driving.

“Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 2,841 lives in 2018 alone. Among those killed: 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA goes on to say that when you send or read texts, it takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. When you’re driving 55 mph, it’s like driving the full length of a football field with your eyes shut.

Driving while texting is bad when you’re driving a motor vehicle, but it can be even worse when it’s a trucker who’s driving a semi-truck down the road or a busy freeway. Due to the amount of damage a semi can cause, texting while driving has been banned on the federal level for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Federal Law Bans Texting & Driving for Truckers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency that governs the trucking industry. One of the agency’s key objectives is to establish and uphold the highest safety standards to keep roadway users safe around commercial vehicles. As such, the FMCSA has banned truck drivers from texting while driving semi-trucks and big rigs.

“Research commissioned by FMCSA shows the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving than for those who do not. Texting drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling 371 feet, or the approximate length of a football field (including the end zones)—without looking at the roadway!” according to the FMCSA’s website.

Truck drivers are banned by federal law from texting while driving a commercial vehicle. If a truck driver texts while driving, he or she can be disqualified. They can also be forced to pay fines and penalties. As of this writing, the penalties are up to $2,750 for individual drivers and up to $11,000 for truck driving companies that require or allow their drivers to text while driving.

Next: Should You Move Your Car After an Accident?

Were you injured by a truck driver who was breaking the law and texting while driving? If so, contact our firm to meet with a truck accident attorney.


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