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Distracted Truck Driving: What You Should Know

Distracted Truck Driver Driving

What is Distracted Truck Driving?

Distracted driving is anything taking your eyes, hands, or attention away from the task of driving a CMV. Common examples of distracted truck driving are:

  • Sending a text message
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Using a GPS navigation system
  • Eating while driving
  • Talking to people in your vehicle
  • Fiddling with the truck’s stereo
  • Doing any of these while driving endangers the CMV driver and the motoring public
  • When communicating with driving associates via cellular phone, Driver Managers should please begin each conversation by asking “Are you talking on a hands-free device?”
  • If you do not contact the driving associate and must leave a message, please ask them to call you back only when they have reached a safe location and it is reasonable to do so.

Distracted Truck Driving Trends

  • In August and September 2018, there has been an increase in accidents related to distracted driving.
  • In 2019, more and more truck drivers are being given violations for using a cell phone while driving a CMV.

Facts About Distracted Truck Driving

  • FMCSA has published new rules that restrict texting and the use of hand-held mobile phones by drivers while operating a CMV.
  • Research commissioned by FMCSA 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 drivers who text while driving than for those who do not.
  • Texting drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds.
  • At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling 371 feet, or the approximate length of a football field (including the end zones)—without looking at the roadway!

What is “Texting”?

  • Texting means manually entering text into, or reading text from, an electronic device (cell phone or tablet).
  • Texting includes (but is not limited to), short message services, e-mailing, scrolling contacts, instant messaging, using voice commands through Siri or Alexa or Google, a command or request to access a Web page, pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a call using a mobile telephone, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.
  • This also includes the use of any social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

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