A driver’s undivided attention is his or her most important safety device. Federal safety officials have repeatedly said that most traffic crashes (94 percent) are a result of some form of human error. This is what makes distracted driving so dangerous for any driver, but when it comes to commercial vehicle drivers, the danger is compounded because of the sheer size of the vehicle. Anyone who has been injured in an Oklahoma truck accident that was caused by a distracted truck driver is probably familiar with the frustration and rage that comes with knowing that the crash was completely preventable.
Federal distracted driving rules and regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts a CMV driver from reaching for or holding a mobile device for voice communication or for dialing the phone by pressing more than one button. They may speak on a mobile phone while driving if they have a hands-free device in close enough proximity that they do not have to reach for it or press more than one button to operate it. Voice-activated dialing is permitted to initiate a call.
Penalties for distracted truck driving for large, commercial truck drivers
The penalty for a CMV driver caught using a hand-held phone to speak or text while driving includes fines up to $2,250. Additional penalties can include driver disqualification for multiple offenses.
Distracting activities that increase the likelihood of an accident for truck drivers
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) analyzed how much the level of risk associated with certain safety-critical events increased when truck drivers used hand-held mobile devices while driving and they found that texting was 23.2 times more likely cause an accident, while talking or listening to a hands-free phone was only 0.4 times more likely to cause a crash.
Safety tips to avoid distracted driving crashes
Here are a few tips from a trucking industry association to help truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers focus on the task of driving and avoid the distractions behind the wheel that can lead to a truck accident:
- Keep your phone out of sight and out of mind
- Never text and drive
- Be prepared to drive before you get behind the wheel
- Properly secure items inside of your vehicle
- Set a good example for young drivers and speak up even when it is uncomfortable
Knowing what the penalty is for a truck driver who gets caught talking on a hand-held phone or texting behind the wheel will give you very little solace if you have been injured in an accident that was caused by a distracted truck driver. You want answers about who is responsible and who will compensate you for your medical expenses and your lost wages from work while you are recovering from your injuries. A McAlester truck accident attorney from the Stipe Law Firm will be by your side and make sure that you recover all of the compensation due to you.
An injury suffered in a truck accident can change the course of your life and even have a negative impact on your work and personal life. Do you have questions about obtaining compensation for your injuries and other losses? The experienced McAlester truck accident attorneys at the Stipe Law Firm are here to represent your interests and fight for your right to fair compensation. Call (918) 505-7741 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with the Oklahoma truck accident lawyers you can rely on.