The commercial carrier industry is highly regulated, with safety monitoring one of the main priorities. There are many different and varied regulations that commercial truck drivers must adhere to as a result to help prevent tractor trailer crashes. Referenced below are four specific activities that truck drivers are forbidden from doing; each of which can contribute to the increased incidence of truck crashes.

Using a Phone While Driving

Using a cell phone while driving is a major distraction and a danger for any driver, especially the driver of a heavy truck. Talking on the phone is a huge distraction for drivers and one of a number of causes of traffic accidents. Although some states also prohibit cell phone use without a headset for drivers of passenger vehicles, the law pertains to all truck drivers, regardless of the state. Calls made using headsets are permissible; however, since talking in general can be distracting, the best suggestion is for truck drivers to pull over to make or take a phone call.

  1. Texting While Driving - Texting while driving is a questionable activity done by many drivers.  Many states have laws against this action, due to its significance in distracted driving accidents. As with the use of handheld phones, all truck drivers are strictly prohibited from texting while driving, regardless of the state. It is an extremely dangerous activity and doing it while driving a large truck only increases that danger and the risk of a tractor trailer crash.

  2. Unauthorized Passengers on Board - Drivers of commercial trucks may only have passengers with them who are authorized to be there. Whether the passenger is a friend, a relative, a hitchhiker, or just someone stuck at the side of the road and needing a ride, it is illegal for any commercial truck to carry unauthorized passengers for two main reasons:  liability concerns and driver distraction that could lead to truck accidents.  

  3. Using A Radar Detector - Radar detectors are devices that alert drivers when police radar could be monitoring the speed of vehicles. They are used to avoid tickets, as the alert usually gives drivers enough time to slow down before their speed is monitored. Although these devices are legal for use by drivers of passenger cars in all states except Virginia, the rule is different for truck drivers. Radar detectors are illegal for use in commercial trucks of any kind and may not even be in the vehicle. The reasoning should be obvious, as radar detectors make it easy for drivers to speed when not being watched specifically. Speeding is one of the main causes of costly big rig crashes today.

Even though some of these activities, such as picking up a stranded motorist, may seem harmless, these rules exist to help prevent truck accidents. Speeding and distracted driving are among the top causes of semi-truck crashes today, so it is imperative that commercial drivers adhere to these and other driving laws that aim to prevent these behaviors!

Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP

Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law

J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law

7830 Broadway, Suite 122

Pearland TX 77581

Phone: (281) 408-2190

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