Truck drivers need to be able to communicate on the road, but they also need to be safe. To strike a balance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned most cellphone use, but they did allow drivers to use hands-free devices in most cases.
Drivers who break these laws could see stiff ramifications. They may get fined, they could face disqualification and they may even lose their jobs and their careers. Safety is something that the FMCSA takes seriously, and truck drivers need to do the same.
So, why are only hands-free devices allowed? There are two main statistics that help paint the picture and explain this decision.
First of all, researchers looked at incidents when drivers were dialing on mobile phones while holding them in their hands. They were not texting, but they still needed to dial in order to make a voice call. They were six times as likely to have a "safety-critical event" when compared to drivers who were not dialing.
In addition, researchers examined drivers who were actually texting and driving. While most people know that this is a dangerous practice for any driver, truckers were a staggering 23 times as likely to find themselves in those same "safety-critical events" as compared to drivers who refrained from texting and driving.
In short, a driver who holds a phone in his or her hand, for any reason, is vastly more likely to get into an accident or have a near miss than a driver who keeps both hands and eyes on the road. If you get injured by a distracted truck driver in Louisiana, you may be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.