The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) takes cell phone violations just as seriously as drug violations. If a driver is pulled over for a mobile phone violation, they face fines of up to $2,750, with a maximum violation severity rating of 10 points. If a driver has numerous texting or handheld phone offenses, they will be disqualified from driving commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Motor carriers who allow their employees to violate the mobile phone laws are subject to fines of up to $11,000.
A driver operating a CMV while talking on a handheld phone or texting is given the same amount of points as a driver who is under the influence of drugs. If you are texting while operating a CMV, the likelihood of being involved in a dangerous event is 23.2 times greater. The dangers are obvious when reviewing the statistics. Truckers who dial handheld devices while driving are six times more likely to be involved in a dangerous event, including collisions, near-collisions, and lane deviation.
The FMCSA recommends these six tips to avoid driver distractions:
- Do not let objects outside of your truck distract you. Driver inattention was discovered to be the leading cause of collisions and near-collisions. 80% of collisions were caused by truckers who weren't focusing on the road during the three seconds leading up to the crash.
- Do not text while driving. It could cost you your job, or your life.
- Do not use a dispatching device while driving. Dispatching devices are a distraction and increase the likelihood of a trucker being in a dangerous event by nine times.
- Do not dial a handheld phone while driving. Handheld mobile phones require your hands, eyes and attention, but so does safe driving. What is more important?
- Do not read, write, or use paper maps while driving.
- Avoid eating and drinking when driving. These activities are dangerous to attempt while driving and increase your chances of hurting yourself or others.
Many auto accidents are preventable. The outlined driving practices will aid in minimizing the risk of dangerous experiences behind the wheel. Educating and refining your drivers’ routines during vehicle operation is pivitol to success. Contact our AssuredPartners Transportation experts for help implementing and improving your driver safety programs.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration