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Handheld device rules help prevent Houston truck accidents

By this point in the 21st century, Houston residents are surely aware of how the use of handheld devices while an individual is driving can be deadly. This goes double for those who drive for a living, especially when they are in control of vehicles weighing several tons and taking up large swathes of the roadway. As with most things having to do with commercial trucking, the use of such devices is regulated by rules promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

So, what rules does the FMCSA have with regard to handheld devices in trucks? First is a blanket restriction on texting. This is defined as entering alpha-numeric text into, or reading from, any electronic device. This actually encompasses more than the traditional understanding of texting, as it would include dealing with email, any kind of instant messaging service, and hitting more than one button to make a phone call (such as typing in a 9-digit phone number).

Speaking of making phone calls, the FMCSA also restricts commercial truck drivers with regard to making them. The regulations prohibit a driver from holding, or even reaching for, a handheld device to make or answer a voice call. As stated above, calls can be made only by a one-button press, and the phone must not be held, and it must be in close proximity to the driver at all times.

Houston truck accidents can be so devastating, and, in most instances, truck crashes result in injuries to other vehicles occupants, rather than the truck driver. For this reason, it is imperative that commercial drivers follow the safety rules set out for them. While the majority do, when one doesn't and causes injury due to their negligence, the victims may have a right to compensation.

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