“The FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rule-making restricts a CMV driver from holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity.
Research commissioned by the FMCSA shows the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 6 times greater for CMV drivers who engage in dialing a mobile phone while driving than those who do not. Drivers on their phones take their eyes off the roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph (or 80.7 feet per second), this equates to a driver traveling 306 feet, the approximate length of a football field, without looking at the road.
The use of a hand-held mobile telephone is defined as:
- Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call.
- Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button.
- Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner requiring a driver to maneuver so that they are no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.
- A mounted phone is acceptable as long as it is mounted close to the driver.
- Use an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
- Use voice-activated dialing.
- Use the hands-free feature: a driver must have their mobile telephone located where they are able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button. The driver must be in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt. Drivers are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for a mobile phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free function.
With 15 years of experience as a Recruiter at Ardwin Freight I recommend the commercial driver not to take risks and pick up the phone while driving. Insurance companies consider this violation very serious and some won’t accept a driver with this violation. Besides the high risk of calling or texting while driving, keep in mind that if you don’t have a good driving record it is going to be harder to find a job, a good insurance company, or the price will be very high. Think before taking a call, that phone call could be the most expensive call of your life.