The definition of distracted driving is simply anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving. It includes removing one hand from the wheel, averting your eyes away from the front of the vehicle and anything else that causes your attention to be diverted from driving. If you are using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, using a GPS, or adjusting the radio, you are driving distracted. Here are some additional facts about distracted driving.
Likelihood of Accidents
The following show how the likelihood of an accident rises when a driver is distracted:
- Texting: 23.2 times as likely
- Writing : 9.0 times as likely
- Looking at a map: 7.0 times as likely
- Reaching for an electronic device: 6.7 times as likely
- Dialing a cellphone: 5.9 times as likely
Regulations for Truckers
Driving while distracted is a major safety concern today. There have always been distractions for drivers, but now there are many more, like GPS and cellphones. Whether you are an owner-operator driving a big rig or a hotshot carrier, there are regulations in place concerning distracted driving that you need to know.
If a driver is caught talking on a phone or texting, he or she can be fined or put out of service. Rules do not apply to equipment for dispatching as long as the driver is not texting. Hands-free operation is usually allowed. State rules usually take precedence, but since many states do not have distracted driving rules in place, the FMCSA rules apply in every state.
- The fine for distracted driving can be as high as $2,750.
- Two serious offenses over the course of three years will result in a disqualification for 60 days.
- Three serious offenses over a three year span will merit a disqualification for 120 days.
- The Safety Measurement System rating for employers will be affected negatively.