Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Commercial vehicle distracted driving guidelines

Texas roadways serve as a vital trade route for commercial vehicles of all makes and sizes. As a result, small cars are increasingly subject to the many hazards of sharing the road with such large and heavy vehicles. One of the risk factors that are known to result in serious accident incidents is distracted driving on the part of commercial vehicle operators. That is why strict federal regulations are in place to outline and combat conduct characterized as distracted driving.

According to Omnitracs, there are several forms of behavior that are known to result in serious commercial vehicle accident incidents. And while numerous external and environmental factors can contribute to distracted driving, the use of cell phones and other handheld devices is believed to contribute significantly to dangerous driving conditions. Any behavior or disruption that results in a commercial vehicle driver losing his or her focus on driving, removing his or her hands from the steering wheel or looking away from the road is considered a driving distraction.

The Federal motor carrier Safety Administration explains that federal regulations prohibit all commercial motor vehicle drivers from using cell phones and/or text messaging while operating a vehicle. Unlawful use of a cell phone includes pressing more than one button on the phone, holding the device and/or reaching for the phone. Similarly, several actions constitute texting and driving. For one thing, a commercial vehicle driver is not allowed to read or type a text message while driving. Beyond that, he or she is also is also prohibited from accessing the web or pressing more than one button on the device.

It is important to note that commercial vehicle operators can drive and use electronic devices under specific circumstances. For instance, they are allowed to use speakerphone features and voice-activated systems to make and receive calls.

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