Aside from the various rule and regulations the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published, there is one very important one that must be reiterated time and time again to help establish how important it is to follow it. It’s the No Texting Rule. While everyone is well aware of the fact that texting while driving is not only dangerous but also illegal in most states, very few abide by this law.
So, in an effort to help deter you away from texting while driving if you are someone who operates a commercial truck, below we are outlining for you the risks associated with texting while driving as well as the penalties you are up against if you are caught violating this rule.
Texting and Driving Risks
Did you know that research shows that “the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV [Commercial Motor Vehicle] drivers who text while driving than for those who do not?” When a truck driver takes his/her eyes off the wheel for an average of 4.6 seconds traveling at around 55 mph, this would be equivalent to them driving 371 feet or the length of a football field without looking at the road ahead of them. So, imagine all the possibilities that could arise from taking your eyes off the road for that length of time.
You could veer off the roadway, causing your truck to flip or you could merge into another driver’s lane and crash into the side of their vehicle. The fact is, there are a multitude of outcomes that could arise just by texting while driving, some more serious than others. That is why the FMCSA also imposes fines and penalties to those drivers who are caught breaking the law. What are these penalties you wonder? Read on below as we outline them for you.
Penalties for Texting While Operating a Commercial Truck
If a truck driver is caught texting while driving, whether it is on their own personal cell phone or on a hand-held communications device provided by their employer, they could be faced with a fine of up to $2,750. Their employers, given they allow or require their drivers to use a hand-held communications device for texting while driving could be subjected to paying a fine of up to $11,000.
Aside from the hefty fines mentioned above, truckers who are convicted multiple times of texting while operating their commercial truck could lose their driving privileges. In fact, a driver could be disqualified from operating a vehicle for up to 120 days depending on how serious the traffic violation is. So, rather than put your life and your job at risk, it is best to keep your eyes on the road at all times. In the event you need to take a call, answer a text, or respond to your employer on the device they provided you with, pull over to a safe place before attempting to read and respond to the messages you received.
Involved in a truck accident in Montgomery with a driver who was texting at the wheel?
If you are a trucker who engaged in a collision in or nearby to Montgomery, Alabama as a result of another motorist who was texting while driving, you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. To learn more about the process you must go through to recover these funds as well as how much you might be entitled to collect, speak with a trusted truck accident lawyer in Montgomery, AL today. Our truck crash lawyers not only have the ability to provide you with a fair estimate as to what your damages are worth, but they have the qualifications and skill needed to help you recoup it from the liable party.