If you operate a commercial fleet, then you know how important it is to be minimizing accidents and risks from drivers. When an accident occurs, it causes a wide range of issues for a business, from the interruption of work to substantial property loss. It can also cause damage to public and private property, as well as leading to injuries and even loss of life.
This means it is crucial that commercial drivers conduct their driving as safely as possible. There is a wide range of events that can reduce a driver’s focus and attention on the road ahead. Some of the most common causes of distraction include:
- Conversations with passengers
- Eating, drinking, or smoking while driving
- Focusing on sights or activities outside the car, such as traffic accidents, pedestrians, tourist attractions, and more
- Attempting activities from their morning routine, such as shaving or applying makeup
- Reading directions or maps
Distractions can come in all forms, but essentially they are anything that takes the driver’s focus away from the road. One of the most common distractions, however, is the use of smartphones. From taking calls and texting to browsing social media, the use of these devices is incredibly dangerous and substantially increases the risk of an accident, particularly with large commercial vehicles.
These vehicles typically exceed 26,000lbs, transport over 16 people, or transport hazardous material that requires warning signs. By law, drivers of these commercial vehicles are completely prohibited from using these devices at all while behind the wheel, regardless of their intention with the device.
In addition to this, both drivers and their employers can be subject to fines if caught in violation of this rule. Individual drivers could face up to $2,750 in fines, while employers who permit cell phone usage will face up to $11,000. Those drivers who are found guilty of two or more violations could face suspension of their commercial driver’s license.
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