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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Bans Truck Driver Text Messaging

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule banning commercial drivers from text messaging on the road to decrease Missouri truck accidents.

The FMCSA recently prohibited on-the-job text messaging by commercial truck drivers. Under the new regulation, motor carriers cannot require or allow their drivers to text while driving. The rule additionally disqualifies drivers with texting-while-driving violations from obtaining a commercial driver’s license. This rule aims to decrease the driver distraction accidents that cause devastating fatalities and Missouri trucking accident injuries each year.

The agency created the new rule in response to a study that highlighted the dangers of texting while operating a tractor trailer or semi. The study found that the odds of safety-critical events like Missouri rear end truck accidents and unintentional lane deviations are 23.2 times greater for commercial truck drivers who texted than those who did not. Commercial truck drivers are targets for regulation because Missouri trucking accident injuries are often more serious than injuries from car accidents. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, especially behind the wheel of a tractor trailer or big rig.

Truck drivers distracted from texting put other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at a high risk of harm. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half a million people were injured in a distracted driver accident in 2009. Distracted driver accidents caused 5,500 deaths that same year. The FMCSA has issued this new regulation to decrease the devastation that distracted driving causes.