Truck driver cell phone use: a trucking accident waiting to happen

Truck driver cell phone use. Those words should send a shiver down the spine of anyone operating a vehicle in the United States. Truck driver cell phone use is a trucking accident waiting to happen. In fact, when a truck driver uses a cell phone, the resulting accident will likely cause a very serious injury.

In its report, Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014, FMCSA listed the top five causes of fatal crashes involving large trucks. These are: 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?

truck driver cell phone use

Since truck driver cell phone use is so dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prohibit truck drivers to operate a commercial truck while the truck driver’s ability or alertness is impaired. 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. So, under the plain text of the federal regulations, there must be a system in place by the trucking company to ensure that its drivers are not using cell phones while driving trucks.

When a trucking company turns a blind eye to mobile phone use by its drivers, it’s essentially allowing them to engage in very dangerous behavior.

Truck drivers who are distracted by cell phone use are putting lives of innocent people a risk. A large truck is hard to slow down, maneuver, and overall difficult to drive even when the driver isn’t distracted. So, obviously a distracted truck driver would find it extremely difficult while on a cell phone or while texting. A commercial truck can never be operated safely while the 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 tractor trailer accident lawyer at the Thomas Creech Law Offices. We we can provide you with legal representation. Truck driver cell phone use may have been the cause of your accident. It’s not only the fault of the driver. 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.