No Driver Cell-Phone Policy? Policy Not Enforced? Not Good.


Just the Facts

3-8-2015 — Zachary Barngrover, 23, was driving a tractor-trailer and allegedly was on his cell phone when he was making a left from 43rd Street onto Ashland when he failed to keep a proper lookout and yield the right-of-way to a mother and her two kids, resulting in a triple-fatality accident.


5-13-2015 — Truck driver Miroslav Kuzmanovic, 22, was allegedly on his his cell phone and failed to reduce speed of his tractor-trailer, causing a chain reaction crash. He was charged with reckless homicide as well as four counts of wanton endangerment. and one offense for communications device violation.


July 08, 2015 — 36-year-old Jorge Espinoza of Yuma AZ was sentenced to six years in prison for second-degree murder for looking at his cellphone before an accident that killed an Arizona Highway Patrol officer, while driving a tractor-trailer.

A Growing Problem

It is believed that the use of cell phones is a factor in 25% of crashes. While many states ban cell phone and texting while driving, the effectiveness of cell phone and texting laws on decreasing distracted driving-related crashes requires further study according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The use of a hand-held mobile telephone according to the FMCSA means:

  • Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
  • Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or
  • Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

DOT penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.

One does not have to look at CSA Violations Summary listings to see truck drivers talking on a cell phone, texting or surfing the net.

Research by Virginia Tech shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving, than for those who do not

Cell Phone Use Countermeasures

Craft a crystal clear policy on the use of communication devices while driving.

Train dispatchers or supervisors not to talk to or text drivers while they are going about their business.

Encourage drivers not to communicate, call, text, or use electronic devices while driving.

Have drivers sign your cell phone / electronic device policy.

Thank you for reading this.

J Taratuta

Please don’t call 989-474-9599 while I’m driving.