Tractor-trailer operators have demanding jobs that require them to stay on the road for days and even weeks at a time. Without long-haul truckers, much of the goods consumers rely on would never make it to store shelves. Most truck drivers are professionals who take their jobs very seriously. They follow the rules and make safety a top priority.
However, it takes just one irresponsible truck driver to cause a serious accident. When truck drivers glance at a text or worry more about looking at their Facebook page than paying attention to the road, people can get hurt and even killed. Because semis are so dangerous, the federal government has put strict laws in place to restrict truck drivers from driving distracted.
Three Types of Distracted Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving can be broken down into three types.
Visual. When a truck driver’s eyes are off the road, this is a visual distraction.
Manual. Any time a trucker’s hands are off the wheel or the truck’s controls, the truck driver is engaged in a manual distraction.
Cognitive. Cognitive distractions include any activity that takes a truck operator’s mind off the task of driving.
Because texting and other kinds of cell phone use often involve all three types of distractions, these activities are particularly dangerous. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laws in place that penalize truck drivers for doing any of the following:
- Holding a cell phone to initiate a phone call
- Dialing numbers on a cell phone
- Reaching for a cell phone if it causes a truck driver to move out of a seated position
- Texting behind the wheel
- Reading a cell phone screen or any mobile device while driving
- Typing on a cell phone or mobile device while driving
According to the FMCSA, truck operators who text and drive are 23 times more likely to cause a catastrophic accident compared to truckers who don’t text behind the wheel.
Serious Penalties for Truck Drivers Who Drive Distracted
Truck operators who violate the distracted driving ban face serious penalties. Operators caught texting and driving can be fined $2,750 for each violation. For commercial carriers, the fines can be as high as $11,000 each time a carrier’s driver is caught breaking the rules.
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Truck Accident? Call a Philadelphia Truck Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a semi-truck crash, contact an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer today. You can’t afford to go without the help of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney. Protect your rights by discussing your case with a truck accident law firm right away.
Call Philadelphia truck accident lawyer Rand Spear today at 888-373-4LAW today to discuss your case with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney.