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Cellphone rules for truck drivers

Many Maryland truck drivers may be accustomed to keeping their cellphones within reach. However, distracted driving can be a factor in many accidents and it is important for truckers to understand the rules governing cellphone use.

Truckers who drive commercial motor vehicles may not always see their cellphones as dangerous. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that when a driver texts behind the wheel, he or she may drive about the length of a football field before looking back at the road. Additionally a CMV driver is 23.2 times more likely to drift out of a line, collide with another vehicle or almost crash when he or she is texting behind the wheel. Additionally, making a phone call can be dangerous. It is 6 times more likely that truck drivers will compromise their safety on the road when they dial a phone while they drive.

Because of this, truck drivers are usually not allowed to use their cellphones as they drive. Truckers cannot hold their phones or reach for them as they drive. Additionally, they cannot send text messages or emails. This ban on cellphone usage also determines how many buttons a truck driver can press while driving. Truckers can only press one button to make or disconnect a call. There may be times, though, when a truck driver needs to make a call behind the wheel. In these circumstances, it is recommended that drivers keep their phones on speaker phone and set up their phone to make and disconnect calls through a voice activation system.

There can be hefty fines for drivers who disregard these rules and use their cellphones behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers may lose their qualification to drive a CMV if they have been convicted for violating these rules on several occasions. Additionally, a trucker may be required to pay a $2,750 fine.

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