Vigilant Blog

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Jan 27, 2010

FMCSA prohibits texting while driving


Drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are prohibited from texting while driving in interstate commerce, announced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in regulatory guidance. The agency conducted a study that monitored over 200 truck drivers over three million miles, and found that those who texted while driving were 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event. On average, texting drivers took their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds during the six-second interval before a safety-critical event. At 55 mph, this means the driver was not looking at the road for 371 feet, about the length of a football field, including the end zones. The guidance applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce when the CMVs are rated at 10,001 pounds or more, transport more than eight passengers for compensation or more than 15 passengers not for compensation, or transport hazardous materials requiring a placard (75 Fed Reg 4305, Jan. 27, 2010).

Tips: Ensure your drivers also comply with state laws or local ordinances that may be more restrictive, such as prohibiting talking on mobile phones. Violation of such a state law or local ordinance is also a violation of FMCSA rules. For more information about FMCSA requirements, see our Legal Guide, Motor Carrier Safety Requirements (3146).

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