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Federal law targets texting and driving in the trucking industry

Texting and driving has become a serious danger for people in Massachusetts as well as the rest of the country. Distracted driving has always been an issue, but the danger is compounded when a person is distracted by looking at a phone screen. Accidents involving large trucks are particularly grave. This is why laws have been enacted to address the problem of texting and driving among commercial truck drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 30 fatalities in Massachusetts in 2013 that involved large trucks. Any number of these truck accidents could have been the result of an inattentive truck driver who was texting or otherwise not paying attention to the road.

Federal trucking regulations set by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have made it illegal for truckers to text while driving. Additionally, commercial truck drivers may not use any hand-held mobile device behind the wheel unless it is a hands-free device that is voice-activated or can be answered or hung up by pressing no more than one button. Violating these rules can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and, for those with repeat violations, the loss of a commercial driver’s license.

Studies have shown that truck drivers who text while driving are more than 23 times as likely to be involved in a crash or close call than those who keep their eyes on the road. Federal laws to prevent this dangerous type of distraction may reduce the number of distraction-related truck accidents across the country.

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