How dangerous is it for commercial drivers to text and drive?

Drivers in California may be ticketed if they are caught texting and driving on the state's roads. Texting and driving is a dangerous practice that can distract drivers and cause them to engage in unsafe behaviors that put their lives and the lives of others in harm's way. However, some of our readers may wonder if the same prohibitions apply to commercial drivers, who may rely on their phones and other handheld devices to navigate the complex roads of the Bay Area.

According to information offered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers may not use handheld devices while they are operating their rigs. This includes sending text messages and emails, using short message services and other communication platforms. In fact, commercial drivers may not use their handheld devices at all if they must push more than one button on them to engage the programs and services they need.

Distracted driving due to texting can be particularly deadly when a large commercial truck is involved. As discussed in previous posts here, large trucks can take hundreds of feet to come to complete stops and distracted drivers may not have enough time to react before colliding with other cars and innocent individuals. Despite the prohibitions against it, some commercial drivers do impermissibly use their phones when they are operating their rigs.

Texting and driving should not be undertaken by anyone, regardless of whether they are driving a personal car or a large commercial rig. When distracted driving accidents happen, victims should take the time to learn about their rights and potential legal options.

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