Texting and driving is dangerous for any motorist in Pennsylvania, but it is especially dangerous for drivers of semi-trucks. In fact, truck drivers who engage in texting and driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a car accident, or other safety-critical event. Moreover, if a truck driver is travelling at 55 miles per hour, and engages in texting and driving for even 4.6 seconds, it is the equivalent to driving a stretch of road as long as a football field with his or her eyes closed.
For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has instituted rules for truck drivers texting and driving. Truck drivers may not engage in texting and driving.
Texting, in this case, goes beyond texting on a cell phone. It includes sending an email, instant messaging, accessing the Internet or even touching over one button to start or end a voice command. In fact, federal rules prohibit truck drivers from even reaching for or handling a cell phone to use a voice command or pressing more than one button to dial a number on the phone.
To remain compliant with federal rules, a truck driver’s phone must be close enough to the driver that the driver can use it while still being buckled in by his or her seat belt. The phone must be equipped either with an earpiece or with speakerphone technology. This means that the cell phone must be capable of starting, ending or answering a phone call either through voice commands or by only pressing a single button.
These rules are important for keeping all drivers safe on the road. Nevertheless, there will always be truck drivers who ignore federal trucking regulations and drive negligently. Texting and driving is especially dangerous for truck drivers as their larger and heavier vehicles can cause more damage in an accident, when travelling at a high speed.
If a person is injured in a truck accident, that person may want to explore the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit against the truck driver and perhaps, the truck company. This ensures that the victim can recover financial compensation.