The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits truck drivers in Connecticut and across the country from engaging in certain distracted driving behaviors. The agency published rules that no one who operates a commercial motor vehicle is permitted to text while driving, which encompasses the following behaviors:
- Sending or reading text messages
- Using an e-mailing application
- Pressing more than one button to either call someone or end a call
Outside of texting, however, are several other dangerous distractions that can force a commercial truck driver's eyes, hands and focus off the road. For example, many of these drivers work long hours and on tight deadlines. This could put them in a situation in which they have to eat while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while driving constitutes both a manual and visual distraction. The driver must take at least one hand off the wheel to grab the food. Further, even if it is just for a moment, the driver will likely have to take his or her eyes off the road to find the food.
Navigation systems can also be cause for distraction in the cab of a truck. Many of these drivers rely on maps or digital systems to help them find their location. Unfortunately, these tools can result in a shift in focus.
It is important for truck drivers and their employers to know the common distractions and how to mitigate their risk. In the event of an accident, victims in Connecticut have the right to hold the responsible parties accountable for their damages.