Q: Are commercial truck drivers allowed to text while they're driving?
Back in September 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned texting for commercial truck and bus drivers. In the FMCSA's Final Rule on Texting, they stated that their goal in banning CMV drivers from texting while driving is to increase "safety on the nation's highways by reducing the prevalence of or preventing certain truck-and bus-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries associated with distracted driving."
The FMCSA's definition of texting means that the driver is either reading or manually writing a text on an electronic device—so even reading a text from another person counts as texting while driving. If a commercial motor vehicle driver is caught texting while driving, they can face serious penalties, including having to pay steep fines or being completely disqualified from being a CMV operator (after multiple convictions). These rules do not just apply to the drivers; motor carriers who allow or require their employees to communicate via text while driving can face penalties as well.
If you were involved in a truck accident and you believe the CMV driver was texting at the time, this can be crucial to your case. All hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers was banned in November 2011, so even if they were not texting, but still using their phone in some way, they can be held accountable for their negligent actions.
If you suspect your accident was caused by a truck driver using their cell phone, be sure to contact Attorney Steve Lee immediately for a free consultation. Questions? Start an online chat with us right now by clicking on the graphic in the lower right hand corner of your screen.