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Truckers, distracted driving and FMCSA texting regulations

| Jan 19, 2021 | Personal Injury |

If the big rig in front of you on the freeway is having trouble staying in its lane, could distracted driving be the cause?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has strict regulations about distracted driving and use of an electronic device.

A little background

Texting continues to be a dangerous activity on the road. Any commercial driver who controls a huge 18-wheeler is especially at risk for causing a devasting crash. Research reveals that truckers who text are 23 times more likely than non-texting drivers to be in an accident. Truckers who use a cell phone while driving are six times more likely to be in a crash.

The FMSCA regulations

Given its concern over texting while driving among those who operate commercial motor vehicles, the FMCSA established regulations that prohibit this activity. The agency defines texting as “manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.” In a separate regulation, the FMCSA defines the use of a mobile device:

– Pressing more than one button to dial a mobile phone

– Taking at least one hand off the steering wheel to hold a mobile phone and make a call

– Reaching for a mobile phone in a way that requires risky maneuvering on the part of the driver

Exception to the rule

The FMCSA requires that truck drivers use a hands-free mobile device when texting or dialing a phone number. The device must also rest in close proximity to the driver. Exceptions are making emergency calls, such as contacting law enforcement.

Safety precautions

If you are driving near a big rig that is drifting in and out of its lane, distracted driving may be involved. Give the truck ample room and avoid becoming the victim of a devastating truck-car crash.