According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 26,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers from 2012 to 2019. (Credit: kryzhov/Shutterstock.com) According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 26,000 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers from 2012 to 2019. (Credit: kryzhov/Shutterstock.com)

Using your phone while driving is dangerous and distracting for anyone, but the stakes are much higher when the driver is operating a tractor-trailer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules that restrict the use of hand-held cellphone usage by commercial truck drivers, and violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for employers, but the risks go beyond the financial.

According to the FMCSA, the odds of being involved in a crash are six-times higher for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) who dial mobile phones while driving. These drivers, they report, take their eyes away from the roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds while dialing, which, at 55 mph, means the driver is operating their truck blindly for about the length of a football field.

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Brittney Meredith-Miller

Brittney Meredith-Miller is assistant editor of PropertyCasualty360.com. She can be reached at [email protected].

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