Are commercial vehicle drivers allowed to text?

Have you ever seen a trucker driving down the interstate while talking on the phone or even texting? If so, you have likely witnessed an illegal action because regulations for commercial vehicle drivers note that texting while driving is forbidden. Unfortunately, just because something is against the law doesn't mean that people are going to stop doing it.

When it comes to these regulations, it is imperative that you understand exactly what is considered texting while driving. One important distinction that is present in the regulations is that the phone can't be held or manipulated manually. This means that it is perfectly acceptable for a trucker to use voice to text programs as long as he or she isn't actually using hands or fingers to operate the phone.

The rule about being hands-free extends beyond texting. It also applies to making phone calls. This means that truckers can use hands-free options to make and receive phone calls. Bluetooth and similar options that use microphones and speakers in the cab are likely legal.

Truckers who don't comply with these regulations are subject to several penalties, including the possibility of being unable to drive and having to pay fines. There is also the risk of a safety-critical event, which can mean an accident involving catastrophic injuries.

For victims of the crashes, finding out what happened is likely a priority. In these cases, the cause of the crash might have an impact on the claim for compensation. It can have an impact on who is going to be named as a defendant, as well as how the claim is handled.

Source: Department of Transportation, "Distracted Driving," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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