The year 2010 saw encouraging efforts by federal agencies to prevent truck accidents due to distracted driving. It began with a proposal by the US DOT banning texting while driving for commercial motor vehicle drivers, including truck and bus drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ended the year by announcing a proposal to ban all handheld cell phone use for truck and bus drivers while at the wheel.
This is a major step forward toward trucking and highway safety in the country. Commercial motor vehicle drivers are now prevented from using a hand-held cell phone while driving. That includes holding a cell phone, dialing a number or talking on the cell phone. For now, plans are to keep the ban restricted to handheld cell phones. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been sending indications that it would expand this ban in the future to include hands-free cell phones too.
While a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones is definitely a start, New York truck accident lawyers would like the FMCSA to take more firm steps to prevent distracted driving by commercial truck drivers. That would include not only a ban on hands-free sets but also severe restrictions on the use of dashboard computers by truck drivers. These computers which require drivers to maintain contact with the trucking company, read e-mails and surf the Internet, are meant to be used only when the driver has pulled his truck over.
Unfortunately, truck drivers don’t always find a place to pull over or choose not to do so to save time. That only increases the risk of a serious accident because of the driver?s concentration is not 100% on the road. A ban on such computer systems would go a long way to prevent truck driving accident hazards caused by electronic communication devices.