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 Manager’s 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 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.