With the prevalence of smartphones and the ubiquity of their use, distracted driving has become an increasingly serious issue. But are the laws governing distracted driving different for truck drivers than for passenger vehicle drivers? The short answer is yes; in many cases, distracted driving laws are more strict for truckers than for other motorists. Let's take a closer look and discuss why this might be so.
Truckers Face Unique Challenges
Truck drivers face a unique challenge when it comes to distracted driving. As opposed to passenger vehicle drivers, truckers are responsible for operating large and complex vehicles that often carry hazardous materials.
The sheer size of these vehicles means that if a truck driver is not paying attention, the consequences could be disastrous. Thus, federal and state laws have been enacted that specifically target distracted driving by commercial truckers in order to help prevent serious accidents from occurring.
Commercial Truck Regulations
For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has adopted regulations prohibiting commercial truck drivers from manually entering data into an onboard logging device while they are behind the wheel. This is aimed at preventing them from using their smartphones or other devices while operating their trucks on public roads. The FMCSA also forbids truck drivers from using hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets while behind the wheel.
In addition to federal regulations, some states have enacted stricter laws for commercial truckers when it comes to distracted driving. For example, in California, a commercial truck driver can be issued a ticket if they are seen holding any type of device in their hand while operating their vehicle. Additionally, many states have adopted an “eyes on the road” policy that requires all commercial truck drivers to keep both hands free at all times and never take them off of the steering wheel or gearshift lever unless absolutely necessary.
It is clear that distracted driving laws for truckers are more stringent than those for other motorists because of the unique challenges associated with operating large trucks.
We Can Help Injured Motorists and Their Families
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, contact us today to discuss your legal options.
Call our firm today at (504) 470-3935 or fill out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn how we can help.