What You Should Know About Distracted Truck Driving

3 min read
What You Should Know About Distracted Truck Driving

What is the definition of Distracted Truck Driving?

Distracted driving is defined as anything that takes your eyes, hands, or concentration away from the task of driving a commercial motor vehicle. Examples of inattentive truck driving include:

  • Text message transmission
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Making use of a GPS navigation system
  • Driving and eating
  • Speaking with passengers in your vehicle

Any of these activities while driving endangers the CMV driver and the general public. Driver Managers should begin each interaction with their driving employees by asking, "Are you talking on a hands-free device?" If you are unable to contact the driving colleague and must leave a message, please request that they phone you back only after they have arrived at a safe area and it is fair to do so.

Trends in Distracted Truck Driving

There was an upsurge in distracted driving accidents in August and September of 2018. In 2019, an increasing number of truck drivers are receiving citations for using a mobile phone while operating a CMV.

Distracted Truck Driving Facts

The FMCSA has issued new regulations that prohibit drivers from texting or using hand-held mobile phones while operating a CMV. According to FMCSA-commissioned research, CMV drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be engaged in a safety-critical event (e.g., collision, near-crash, inadvertent lane departure) than those who do not. Drivers who texted took their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this translates to a vehicle driving 371 feet, or the length of a football field (including end zones)—while not looking at the road!

What exactly is "texting"?

Texting is the act of manually typing 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, Alexa, or Google, a command or request to access a Web page, pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a call on a mobile phone, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry for present or future communication. This involves using social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.