Truck driver cell phone use. The very mention of those words should send a shiver down the spine of any law abiding citizen operating a motor vehicle on the roads and highways in the United States. Truck driver cell phone use is a trucking accident waiting to happen. And when a truck driver uses a cell phone, the resulting trucking accident is going to likely be the cause of a very serious personal injury.
In its publication Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that the top five causes of fatal crashes involving large trucks were as follows: speeding; distraction/inattention (cell phone use); impairment/fatigue; failure to yield to the right of way; and failure to keep in proper lane.
As you can see, truck driver cell phone use is a leading cause of truck driver caused trucking accidents.
Are the Safety Regulations Enough?
Since truck driver cell phone use is so dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prohibit trucking companies from requiring or permitting a truck driver to operate a commercial truck while the truck driver’s ability or alertness is impaired. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations also clearly prohibit trucking companies from allowing or requiring its truck drivers to text or use a hand held mobile phone while driving. Sections 392.80 and 392.82 of the FMCSR prohibit the trucking company from allowing or requiring texting or mobile phone use while driving a commercial motor vehicle truck. Thus, under the federal regulations, trucking companies are specifically identified and are specifically prohibited from allowing or requiring texting or mobile phone use by its truck driver while driving a commercial truck. So under the plain text of the federal regulations, there must be a company system in place by the trucking company to ensure that its truck drivers are not using cell phone while driving trucks.
When a trucking company turns a blind eye to mobile phone use or texting by its truck drivers, its essentially allowing its drivers to engage in very risky and dangerous behavior. Truck drivers who are distracted by cell phone use are putting lives of innocent people a risk. A large commercial truck is hard to slow down, hard to maneuver, and overall difficult to drive even when the driver is not distracted by cell phone use. So obviously, a distracted truck driver would find it extremely difficult to operate a truck while on a cell phone or while texting. A commercial truck can never be operated in a safe fashion while a truck driver is using a cell phone.
Truck Driver Cell Phone Use
Truck driver cell phone use is dangerous and it’s illegal. Trucking companies are required under a plain reading of the rule to never allow its truck drivers to use a cell phone while driving. So a trucking company, in order to abide by the letter and spirit of the law, must establish systems and mechanisms to enforce this safety rule-that’s good for the companies, the truck drivers, and even more-the safety of the public.
After being involved in a trucking accident, injured motorists often times seek to find out what happened to cause the trucking wreck. If you or a loved one have been involved in a trucking wreck, reach out to our trucking accident law firm located in Greenville, SC so that we can provide you with legal representation. Truck driver cell phone use may have been the cause of your accident. And it’s not only the fault of the truck driver, but additional independent liability may fall on the trucking company as well for permitting or requiring cell phone use by its drivers. Distracted truck driver accidents can be easily prevented when the trucking companies themselves focus on a company level on complete elimination – “zero tolerance”- of cell phone use by its truck drivers while driving commercial trucks.