Reinforcing the Hazards of Texting While Driving
Technology inside the cab of the truck can be great for helping to simplify a driver’s job and make them safer on the road. However, technology can also be a major distraction while driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,522 lives in 2021.
One of the most common distractions, for drivers is texting, but that term can be misleading. Drivers may not be aware that “texting” has a broad meaning and if they are not versed on its scope, they may be opening themselves up for trouble. For this reason, it may be a good time to discuss texting with drivers and remind them of the consequences of their actions if they are caught texting while driving. Here are some talking points to share with drivers.
WHAT EXACTLY IS TEXTING?
Texting involves manually entering text into, or reading text from, an electronic device. This includes instant messaging, emailing, logging into a website, and pressing more than one button to start or end a call on a cell phone. Interacting with an electronic logging device (ELD) or other fleet management software can also fall into this definition because texting on a dispatching device may be indistinguishable from texting on another text-capable device.
WHAT DO THE REGULATIONS PROHIBIT?
According to 49 CFR Part 392.82, no driver may use a hand-held mobile telephone or engage in texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). However, using a hand-held mobile telephone is permissible by drivers of a CMV when necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR DRIVERS?
Besides the obvious risk of being involved in a vehicle accident that could cause injuries, fatalities, and property damage—not to mention potential civil and criminal charges—drivers expose themselves to additional risk by engaging in this dangerous and prohibited activity. Drivers can face penalties up to $2,750 and be disqualified from operating a CMV for up to 120 days. If a motor carrier has a written policy forbidding texting while driving, the driver could also face disciplinary action.
1Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
CALL TO ACTION
- Remind drivers not to interact with mobile devices and fleet management technologies while driving.
- Create a call-in schedule for drivers so dispatchers and family do not disturb the driver while driving.
- Monitor the company's Safety measurement System results for violations involving distracted driving.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
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