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Can truck drivers text behind the wheel?

When you think about texting and driving accidents in Connecticut, you may initially think of teenagers. However, drivers of all ages may text behind the wheel, and even professional truckers sometimes check their phones while driving. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are regulations in place to prevent truckers from using their phones behind the wheel.

Commercial vehicle drivers are typically not allowed to use their phones on the road. This extends to more activities than texting. Truckers may not dial if they will need to press many buttons, and they may not place calls while holding their device. While this may sound unnecessarily restrictive, research indicates that trucks may travel the length of a football field when a trucker looks at a phone to dial. Additionally, trucker drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a collision or drift from a lane.

However, lawmakers are aware that there may be times when truck drivers need to make a call behind the wheel. In these cases, phones need to be easily accessible so truckers can operate them by pressing one button. Drivers are also allowed to use the speaker phone function. Regardless of which hands-free method truck drivers use, they are generally required to remain seated with their seat belts fastened.

If drivers are found using their cell phones in an unsafe manner, they may be subject to fines. Companies may also be fined if drivers are required to operate hand-held devices. Additionally, truckers may lose their qualifications if they repeatedly break these rules.

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