You cannot drive too far down the road without seeing a commercial truck of one type or another. According to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the transportation system in the U.S. is the largest in the world, transporting trillions of dollars of goods to over seven million business establishments and over 288 million residents domestically. One out of every seven workers in the U.S. is a truck driver.
Unfortunately, these heavily weighed-down vehicles have also caused severe truck accidents on the roads of the U.S. This is one of the main reasons truck drivers are taught – and are supposed to obey – strict rules, regulations, and guidelines. With that said, it is scary that not all truck drivers follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines that have been established and implemented to ensure other drivers, motorcyclists, and even bicyclists and pedestrians are safe from truck accidents on our roads.
The following are four illegal things that some truck drivers do when they are delivering shipments on the roads of the U.S.
Texting and Messaging on Cell Phones
It does not matter whether you are driving a passenger vehicle or a massive truck, texting, emailing, instant messaging, or sending any other messages on a cell phone on the highways and byways of Pennsylvania is illegal. In fact, if anyone is seen by a police officer using their cell phone to text, they will be fined $50 by the PA DOT. However, that does not stop drivers from sneaking a quick text or email message in while driving, and that includes truck drivers, too.
Making Cell Phone Calls
Although the state of Pennsylvania has yet to establish a law to make talking on cell phones illegal while driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), the federal regulating agency for truck drivers, prohibits drivers of all commercial trucks from using their cell phones at all while they are behind the wheel. Because federal laws trump state laws, the FMSCA overrules any laws the state of Pennsylvania may or may not have in place.
Driving While Fatigued
Although the FMSCA imposes regulations concerning how many hours truck drivers are allowed to be on the road transporting goods and log books are supposed to be used to log the hours they are on the road, companies and truck drivers often push the driving hours beyond the limits to ensure that shipments make it to where they need to get to on time. When drivers are tired, their reaction times are slower and accidents even happen when truck drivers fall asleep behind the wheel.
Possessing or Using Radar Detectors
Commercial drivers are not allowed by the FMSCA to use or possess radar detectors and their employers cannot require them to use radar detectors, either. The concept behind this regulation is that this type of equipment encourages truck drivers to speed, and speeding is the main cause of truck accidents.
It only takes one negligent truck driver to cause devastation on our roads. That is why such rigid rules and regulations are implemented by the FMSCA and DOT. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need to call a Pennsylvania truck accident attorney at Solnick & Associates, LLC for a risk-free, no-obligation consultation at (877)-415-6495.