The majority of America is likely aware of the major distraction cell phones can create for drivers. Yet many do not consider that issue when applied to truck drivers — those who frequent Tennessee’s roads more than any other type of traveller. Even though they may be the most familiar with these roads, are truckers also guilty of texting and driving?
With their inevitable huge presence on roads, many might assume that truckers keep a particularly close eye on their actions while driving. However, ABC News reveals a side of truck driving that would startle most: the act of using a cell phone while operating the vehicle. Through a stream of alleged accounts in which truckers collided with other vehicles due to cell phone distractions, ABC reveals that everyday drivers are not the only ones at fault for driving distractedly. One relatively recent event in which a trucker had been looking down at his phone instead of bringing his truck to a stop led to the deaths of a Pennsylvania couple. Another in Arizona involved the death of a police officer, when a trucker was distracted by photos on his phone and slammed into police cars and emergency vehicles.
It is clear that all types of drivers are capable of operating a vehicle while distracted by cell phones. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published rules for truck and bus drivers that prohibit them from driving under such distractions, making clear that these professions offer no exception to state law. The FMCSA reveals that texting while driving can ultimately result in driver disqualification, and that penalties can range from $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a device primarily for the purpose of texting while driving. Everyday drivers are not the only Tennesseeans guilty of texting and driving, and they are also not the only ones facing severe consequences if caught doing so.