The dangers of cell phones: Don’t let your tow truck drivers drive distracted

When your drivers are responsible for operating large, heavy tow trucks, they can’t afford any distractions that could take their attention off the road. Even a second of distraction could have disastrous results. With cell phones as a constant temptation, it’s more important now than ever to stress the importance of staying focused on the task at hand. Namely, getting the tow truck and its load to where it needs to go – preferably without crashing into things. The law also has a few things to say about the use of cell phones while driving a tow truck.

How dangerous is cell phones use while driving?

Extremely. It’s so dangerous that the FMCSA outlawed the use of hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles who can drive over state lines. Outlawing hand-held mobile devices means that drivers cannot make calls, receive calls, or text while driving.

The chances of being involved in an accident or other safety-threatening event are 23.2 times higher for CMV drivers who text while they’re behind the wheel than for those who don’t. 

What about if the truck isn’t moving?

If the tow truck is pulled safely onto the side of the road and isn’t posing a risk to anyone, then it’s okay for a driver to make a call. They just have to be safe about it and ensure that they’re not putting themselves or anyone else at risk.  

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And what about hands-free devices?

Hands-free devices are still allowed, it’s true, but there are a few rules to make sure that they’re not becoming a distraction.

  • It’s still illegal to dial calls when driving.
  • In order to answer a call, the phone has to be easy to reach. It needs to present the least distraction possible.
  • If there’s an emergency, the driver IS allowed to use a hand-held device. But they can only be on the phone with emergency services or law enforcement.

What would happen if a driver broke this law?

Drivers who don’t follow this law will face a hefty fine of up to $2,750 for each offense. If they have multiple offenses they can be forbidden from driving a CMV. States will also suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s license after two or more serious traffic violations. None of those sound like very fun penalties to face, do they?

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The dangers of distracted driving and cell phones are why it’s so important for your tow truck business to take steps against it. If your drivers fiddle with their phones while they’re driving, they’re putting themselves in danger. Not only that, but they’re endangering the lives of the innocent people around them on the roads. Whatever they need to text or call about, it can wait.

Your business needs to create and follow a policy that prohibits distracted driving. Remember, safety is key. There are enough dangers associated with towing already. This is one that’s in our control, and one that we can prevent.

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