Truck Drivers Texting While Driving can Cause Car Accidents
Texting while driving is a problem amongst all drivers, including truck drivers. Texas does not have a law making it illegal for truck drivers to text and drive. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has banned truck drivers from texting while driving regardless of what state they are in. The FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Truck drivers texting while driving can cause accidents.
Drivers take their eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds when they text. During this time, a truck traveling 55 miles per hour would go the length of a football field. Texting while driving increasing the probability of being involved crash 23.2 times.
How Does the Law Define Texting?
The FMCSA says texting is, “Manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.” This means that all of the below are against the law while driving:
- Text messaging
- Sending e-mails
- MSN messenger
- Typing a website address
- Composing a tweet or Facebook post
- Typing a message to be sent or posted later
The law is written broadly to include typing any message or post. Typing into an electronic device is illegal when behind the wheel of a commercial truck.
How Does the Law Define Electronic Device?
Under federal law, an electronic device is not limited to a cell phone. Truck drivers can’t text or type on devices including:
- cell phones
- personal digital assistants (PDAs)
- computers or laptops
- Ipads or tablets
- Any device that can input, write, send, receive, or read text
The ban on using electronics does not stop at texting. Commercial truck drivers can’t make or answer calls from a handheld device. They must use a wireless headset or audio system to make or receive calls. Dialing the phone to make a call is against the law.
What Happens When Truck Drivers Break This Law?
Commercial truck drivers who ignore these rules and text while driving can face civil fines. They can be fined up to $2,750. Companies who allow drivers to use phones without hands-free devices can be fined up to $11,000. A driver who continues to break the law can lose their commercial license.
Texting while driving an 18 wheeler poses an extreme threat to others on the road. A truck driver who takes his eyes off the road to text can veer into oncoming traffic or rear end someone. Drivers must be held responsible, and the companies who employ them must enforce the law.
Contact an 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney for Help
Proving that a driver was texting at the time of an accident can be a difficult task. An experienced 18 wheeler accident attorney can help. If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, Chelsie King Garza can help. Investigating whether a cell phone was in use at the time of the crash should be part of a thorough investigation.