Cell phone use is now banned by truckers on the road. With the recent tragic death of a police officer who was killed at the hands of a truck driver that was allegedly surfing Facebook and looking at provocative photos of women, I thought this would be a good time to talk about how truck drivers using cell phone can cause deadly but preventable crashes.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ban, commercial truck drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while driving.
No texting, no talking, no surfing the Internet.
The FMCSA estimates that commercial motor vehicle drivers who text and drive are over 23 times more likely to be involved in a truck accident, near crash or lane deviation.
The FMCSA rule expands texting to include (but not limited to) the following:
- Short Message Services ( SMS ) text messages between devices.
- Creating, sending or reading e-mail.
- Browsing the Internet using a mobile or other device.
- Pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a call using a cell phone.
- Engaging in any other form of electronic text entry or retrieval, for present or future communication.
The penalties for violating cell phone ban can be up to $2,750 for truck drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a mobile device. Multiple convictions for violating the rule can result in disqualification of the driver and a negative impact on the company’s Safety Measurement System results.
For the attorneys who represent the victims of people seriously injured and the families killed by truckers using cell phones, the use of such devices – along with the increasingly widespread understanding of how dangerous they are and the ban by the FMCSA – will likely now warrant adding counts for punitive and exemplary damages in the lawsuits filed in cases where cell phone use is implicated.
Remember this message from the FMCSA: “No Call, No Text, No Ticket!” Beyond this, by not using your cell phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle, you are literally saving your life and the lives of other innocent motorists on the road.