Truck drivers have significant regulations that they need to follow in order to keep the public safe. One area in which these regulations have been applied by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in regards to the use of mobile phones in the vehicle.
After all, the vast majority of Americans now have a mobile phone, and most people own a smartphone. These are a significant cause of car accidents among the general population, as they lead to driver distraction. This distraction can be mental, visual or manual. In order to keep truck drivers from experiencing the same level of distraction, drivers are often not allowed to use mobile phones while behind the wheel.
Banning handheld devices
What the regulations really do is make it so the drivers can’t use handheld devices. A driver can use a single-button system to make a hands-free call. This allows them to stay in touch with clients, customers, other drivers or simply other employees at the trucking company. But they are never allowed to hold the phone in their hand while driving in order to dial, talk, text or use any other apps.
Additionally, drivers are prohibited from reaching for their phones if they can’t do so without remaining in the driver’s seat and fully in control of the vehicle. They cannot take their seatbelt off and turn around to reach for the phone, for example. This is true even if they plan to hook the phone up to the one-button hands-free system. Taking their hands from the wheel and their eyes from the road to pick up the device is a major distraction and is prohibited. Drivers must plan ahead.
Unfortunately, some drivers break these regulations and cause serious accidents. Those who have suffered catastrophic injuries need to know what options they have.