Posted in News on June 24, 2016
Large trucks such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks are seen traveling on various roadways throughout the nation. In fact, most motorists in Montana share the road with these massive trucks each time they travel on major and minor roads. While commercial trucks are commonplace on all types of roads, truck drivers do not share the normal driving schedule like an average worker who works a nine to five shift on Mondays through Fridays. Therefore, truck drivers work odd hours, travel through the night and work weekends.
While federal trucking regulations have been established to focus on the length of time truck drivers can be behind the wheel during a given shift or week, the major focus of these rules is to reduce fatigue. An overworked truck driver or a truck driver working long shifts is likely to get drowsy behind the wheel, thus creating the concern for truck accidents. But what about tasks truck drivers might do to keep their mind busy or pass the time while they are driving long distances? Do federal trucking regulations address distracted truck drivers?
Much like distracted driving presents many dangers and hazards on the roadway, when a truck driver partakes in distracting activities such as texting and driving, they are more prone to causing a truck crash. In order to address this concern, specific rules have been established for truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, interstate trucks and bus drivers that transport quantities of hazardous material that require a placard are prohibited from texting or using a handheld mobile device while they are operating their vehicle.
If it is discovered that a truck driver is violating this federal trucking regulation, he or she will be subjected to a traffic violation, a fine and even a driver disqualification. Distracted driving is a growing concern among all motorists, especially truck drivers, therefore it is important to ensure they are following current federal trucking regulations.
While regulations are in place to keep truck drivers and other motorists safe, not all truck drivers follow these federal truck regulations. In the event of a truck accident, those harmed should seek to understand the cause and determine whether the driver was in compliance with all applicable regulations. This could help assign liability in cases where a negligent or distracted truck driver caused the incident.
Source: Fmcsa.dot.gov, “Distracted Driving,” accessed June 19, 2016