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Can truck drivers use cell phones on the road?

Many Missouri residents live busy lives, and truck drivers are no exception. In the past, if a person was driving, they had very few ways to engage in other activities while behind the wheel. However, technology has made it easier for people to multitask while driving. For many people cell phones give people the chance to work, socialize or browse the web while driving. These activities are dangerous and can often lead to an accident.

Truck drivers face the same temptation to use cell phones behind the wheel as other drivers. However, distracted truck drivers are even more dangerous because of the nature of trucks. Some data suggests that distracted truck drivers are 23.3 times more likely to almost cause an accident than those that devote their full attention to the road. Even just dialing a phone number puts a truck driver at a six times higher risk of an accident. And, even a minor truck accident has the potential to seriously injure or kill someone.

In order to minimize the risk of truck accident cause by distractions, federal regulations have been passed limiting a truck driver’s ability to use a cell phone. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers of commercial motor vehicles are restricted from using cell phones in many situations. In particular, they are not allowed to text or read texts while driving, access the internet, email or instant message.

Additionally, truck drivers can only use cell phones to make hands-free calls. Under these safety regulations, they cannot reach for a phone, press multiple buttons to make a call or hold the cell phone. They can use single button call features, voice communication and talk using hands-free devices.

If a distracted truck driver causes an accident, that person may be liable for damages. An attorney — and not this blog post — can give people specific legal advice when a person is injured by a distracted driver.