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Distracted driving: Not just a problem for non-commercial drivers

Trucks are incredibly important to the American economy, and the individuals who drive these large commercial vehicles play a vital role in transporting goods across the country. Due to the large size and heavy weight of these semi trucks and other types of commercial vehicles, it remains a priority for these Florida drivers to remain vigilant and drive cautiously.

Like drivers of passenger vehicles, truckers and commercial vehicle drivers are also susceptible to distracted driving. Due to the increasing number of crashes caused by distraction, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed regulations to prevent all truckers and commercial drivers from distracted driving. A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver could face serious penalties if caught.

What is against the rules?

The FMCSA recognizes that texting is one of the main and most dangerous types of distracted driving. More than typing out a message or reading one, CMV drivers may not even do the following while behind the wheel:

  • Reach for or hold a phone
  • Talk on a phone
  • Dial a number on a phone by pressing more than one button

A hands-free device may be used when close-by, and CMV drivers may also use the equipment necessary for dispatching purposes. If caught in a violation, the driver will face civil penalties that can be as much as $2,750. Multiple offenses will lead to driver disqualification.

Phone use is against the rules outlined by the FMCSA, but accidents can also happen when CMV drivers are distracted in other ways as well, such as by:

  • Eating
  • Using the communication system in the truck
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Inputting information into a GPS system

Distractions of all kinds are dangerous, unnecessary and especially risky for truckers and CMV drivers.

Is texting more dangerous for commercial vehicle drivers?

Texting is especially dangerous because it involves cognitive, mental and physical distraction. Even glancing down at an incoming text can have devastating results, especially when the distracted individual is driving a large vehicle.

Technically, texting is just as dangerous for a truck driver as it is for a driver in a two-door sedan. The difference is a heavy truck or large commercial vehicle is much more capable of causing serious or fatal injury to individuals in smaller vehicles. When distraction is the reason for a painful injury or the loss of a loved one, victims will find great benefit in seeking the counsel of an attorney experienced in high-stakes truck accident cases.

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