Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

Can you use your phone as a truck driver?

While working as a truck driver, you spend long hours in the cab. You may want to use your phone to connect with loved ones or people you don’t see very often. From a professional perspective, you may want to use your phone to keep track of deadlines or shipments. 

The world is very interconnected today, and it seems like everyone has a smartphone in their pocket. But are you actually allowed to use that phone while you’re in the truck and on the clock?

It could result in disqualification

No, you cannot use a handheld device while operating your vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that doing so can lead to disqualification, especially if there are multiple violations.

On top of that, many states already have laws prohibiting the use of handheld devices in the vehicle. So, if you decide to do so on a cross-country trip, you could be in violation of both state laws and FMCSA regulations. Both of these violations could be detrimental to your commercial driver’s license (CDL), and losing that license could mean that you cannot continue working in your career.

A hands-free device

If you do need to use a device, there are some situations in which you can use a hands-free system. For instance, phone mounts are sometimes permissible so the driver doesn’t actually have to hold the device in their hand. Drivers can make calls, especially if they can use voice activation or one-button systems. Under these circumstances, mobile phone use may be permitted. 

But you can see how complicated things get with different state laws and federal regulations. If you are facing any serious accusations that put your career in jeopardy, be sure you understand all of your legal options.


FindLaw Network

As Seen In

  • New Jersey Monthly
  • MTV
  • Super Lawyers
  • app | Part of the USA Today Network