Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are restricted from using cell phones while driving. Cell phones are a large part of our everyday life. This includes the lives of those who drive for a living. Research done by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) is 6 times greater for CMV drivers dialing cell phones while driving than for those who do not. Drivers who take their eyes off the road are averaging at 3.8 seconds of not focusing on the road. At 55 mph (or 80.7 feet per second) this means the driver is going 306 feet without looking at the road. That’s just about the size of a football field and the driver isn’t even looking!
You may ask what using a cell phone means. What it means is using at least one hand to physically hold cell phones to make a phone call. Dialing a mobile by pressing more than a single button. Or reaching for the device that requires the driver to move around to the point he or she is no longer sitting in an upright driving position, properly restrained by a seat belt.
There are some allowances on banned cell phones. For example, if the device is mounted closely to the driver; they can easily reach without having to move too much, this is allowed. It is allowed if a driver presses only one to answer a call. An earpiece or speaker function must be used while driving. Using a voice activated dialing system is also acceptable.
If one is caught using a mobile device while driving a CMV, the driver can be fined up to $2,750. Whereas, employers who allow such behavior or who turn a blind eye to the situation can be fined up to $11,000. Disqualifications also when a driver is caught using a cell phone. This means, a driver can lose his or her right to drive Commercial Motor Vehicles.
There’s also the risks the driver and people around he or she. If the CMV driver were to take their eyes off the road, this means they are endangering the people around them. By doing so, the driver risks wrecking, causing a wreck, or being in a near wreck situation.
Avoid texting and driving, commercial drivers. It could save not only your life, but others too.