Distracted driving has been a safety concern for a long time, but the prevalence of cellphone usage in the past decade has brought attention to this issue. Using hand-held mobile devices while driving is widely known to increase the risk of accidents. Studies have demonstrated that texting while driving is as hazardous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Being distracted while driving puts your own life at risk and endangers the lives of others on the road. As a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder, you have additional responsibilities compared to regular license holders. While all forms of distraction while driving can be dangerous, some distractions are unlawful.
Distracted Driving Stats
Motor vehicle crashes are a major cause of workplace fatalities, with 1,038 U.S. workers dying in work-related crashes on public roads in 2020 alone. This number accounts for 22% of all work-related deaths, making it a significant safety concern for employers and employees alike. The transportation and warehousing industry saw the highest share of these deaths, with 43% of fatalities, followed by construction, wholesale and retail trade, and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.
To address the issue of distracted driving, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has implemented a ban on the use of hand-held phones by interstate commercial drivers. This implies that while driving, you cannot make or receive calls or text using a hand-held mobile device. To use such devices, you must pull over to the side of the road. The ban is aimed at reducing accidents caused by distracted driving.
Using Hands-free Devices
Here are some important points to keep in mind about using hands-free devices while driving as a commercial driver:
- Using hand-held phones while driving is banned by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for interstate commercial drivers.
- Hands-free devices may be used only if they do not distract the driver.
- Dialing calls is illegal if it requires the driver to push more than one button.
- To answer a call, the cellphone must be within reach and easily accessible.
- CB radios, two-way radios, and walkie-talkies are allowed.
In case of emergencies, drivers may use hand-held mobile devices to notify law enforcement or other emergency services.
It's important to note that some states have banned cell phone use outright, so it's important to be aware of the laws in the areas where you operate.
Learn More About Distracted Driving
C.J. Noel Insurance is here to help you learn more about how dangerous distracted driving is. Reach out to our agency today to learn more.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.