As drivers, we all understand the risks associated with distracted driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has kept things pretty simple when they begin regards to truck drivers using mobile devices. Those rules include no reading, no texting, no dialing, no holding, and no reaching.

The FMCSA defines texting as using an electronic device to read or enter alphanumeric text manually. My buddy who does roof repair in Lilburn Ga has really cracked down on their drivers, and the safety precautions that they take. Their definition includes any time you push more than one button, whether you are initiating or terminating a call or texting on a device from dispatch.

The definition of using a mobile device, according to the FMCSA, is any time you make a call using at least one hand to hold your device, dialing on a mobile phone through pressing one or more buttons or having to maneuver out of a seated position to reach for a mobile phone while restrained by a seatbelt.

Understanding this definition helps you to see that any device a driver uses to text or call needs to be hands-free. The only exception to this rule is if the driver is facing an emergency or needs to contact law enforcement. The hands-free device needs to be placed in a location that is close to where the driver can reach it easily if necessary.

A hands-free device normally includes an earpiece and speakerphone with options for dialing hands-free or a mode that is hands-free. When a device is hands-free, that means it can be activated safely simply by touching one button while still staying restrained and properly seated.

One thing you may have noticed that wasn’t covered by the regulations was using your phone’s camera while driving. Common sense would tell you that using a camera to take a picture of the giant blue chicken in the field you are driving by would not be a very good idea, though it would be a pretty awesome sight to see. If it’s that great, though, it is worth pulling over for to photograph.

Distracted Driving as a Trucker
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