FMCSA Rule Could Restrict Distractions for Truck Drivers

After banning text messaging while driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could turn its attention next to banning other distracting devices in truck cabs. This week, the FMCSA’s Chief Safety Officer Rose McMurray, addressed a trucking industry conference, and spoke about her agency’s intention to crack down on other forms of distractions in trucks. According to McMurray, the agency is looking specifically at dispatch systems and CB radios that contribute to a great deal of distraction to truck drivers.

Any attempt to ban these devices will have to consider the fact that many of these devices facilitate easy communication between the company and truck drivers and also smoothen the delivery process.

As a Kansas City truck accident attorney , we are noticing a higher incident of semi-truck accidents associated with distracted truck drivers. In fact, the trucking industry has moved more and more towards the installation of computers in trucking cabs. The drivers can log onto these computers to browse the Internet, check e-mail and keep communication going between themselves and the head office. Truckers receive new dispatch orders, and delivery route instructions.

Obviously, on-board computers are a huge distraction to truck drivers. Many truck drivers will be on-line at the same time they are traveling at highway speeds. Truck driver’s themselves will tell you that it’s not always possible to pull over, in order to log on to the computer. These distractions dramatically increase a truck driver’s risk of an accident.

If the FMCSA is serious about minimizing distractions for truck drivers , it should first look at how it can minimize the use of these computers in trucks. However considering how effective and efficient these computers have proved to the industry, it’s not likely that the trucking industry will agree to any restrictions on the use of computers anytime soon.

Douglas R. Horn is the Lead Attorney of The Horn Law Firm, P.C. based in Kansas City, Missouri. Horn Law has a concentration in truck accidents and complex motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Horn offers no-charge investigations and legal consultations with consultation offices located throughout Missouri. Home, hospital, and other convenient meetings can be arranged through Mr. Horn at 816-795-7500.