By now, every driver and passenger of a car or truck has probably seen someone else driving while texting.
And, even though we all know the dangers of distracted driving, drivers of cars and trucks — even semi trucks — can still be seen traveling on roads and highways at a high rate of speed while texting. Even though most states in the past few years have enacted laws that forbid texting while driving, a federal law banned truck drivers from texting several years ago. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (also known as the FMCSA), which is the federal agency responsible for overseeing truck drivers and trucking companies operating on America’s streets, roads, and highways, formally banned texting while operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle in 2010. FMSCA Website: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-transportation-secretary-ray-lahood-announces-federal-ban-texting-commercial-truck
According to research conducted by the FMCSA, “drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road. Drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers.” The FMCSA also estimates that drivers of commercial motor vehicles who ‘text’ while driving are over 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, a “near crash,” or a lane deviation.
Interestingly, “texting” (as far as semi truck drivers and drivers of other commercial vehicles should be concerned) is not limited to sending text messages between cell phones or other devices. It also includes the exchange of messages between computers, websites, and other devices; creating, sending or reading e-mail; browsing the internet using a cell phone or other mobile device; pressing more than a single button to start or end a call using a cell phone; and any other form of electronic text entry or retrieval for present or future communication. If you know someone involved in a semi truck accident, or an accident involving any commercial motor vehicle, they should know it is important to determine whether the person driving the commercial motor vehicle was texting (as that term is broadly defined by the FMCSA) at the time of the accident or immediately before the truck accident. Distracted driving leads to serious truck accidents and preventable deaths, which is why truck drivers and trucking companies are held to such a high standard when it comes to “no texting while trucking.”