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Distracted driving is a problem for truckers

No one likes seeing a distracted driver when they are out on West Virginia's highways. It can be terrifying to witness another driver speeding with their head down and eyes buried in the screen of their cellphone. The distracted driver is likely missing important safety and operational information that could improve their driving and help them avoid collisions.

Distracted commuters and other personal vehicle driving individuals are bad enough, but one population can put the health and safety of other motorists in jeopardy due to the sheer size of their vehicles: truck drivers. Like private drivers, truck drivers should not drive while distracted and are subject to regulations that prohibit them from using technological devices while they are operating their rigs.

Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration prohibit drivers from using cell phones while on the road. Using a cell phone means needing to push more than one button to activate the call feature, having to reach out of their seat to access their device, texting, reading messages, sending emails and other prohibited communication activities.

Drivers are allowed to use voice-activated technologies and other hands-free. If a driver is found to be in violation of these prohibitions, their punishment can range from a fine to losing their qualifications to drive commercial vehicles.

Distracted truck drivers are dangerous because they are not fully in control of their vehicles. When they cause truck accidents due to their negligence, they can often be held liable for their actions and the harm that they cause to their victims.

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