The state of Indiana has a law that prohibits drivers from having a mobile device in their hand while a vehicle is in motion. Federal laws prohibit commercial drivers from texting and holding mobile devices while driving yet still allow for the use of a CB radio.
Though truck drivers are able to converse on a mobile device through a hands-free connection like Bluetooth or a headset, there are no laws that make handheld CB radio use illegal. With distracted driving being a leading cause of vehicle accidents, does this CB use become an issue?
Truckers have long used CB radios to communicate with one another, though the original uses were to check on potential traffic incidents, the location of law enforcement officers and the operations of weigh stations. Older radios require a driver to operate the radio by hand, either by holding the microphone to speak or adjusting the stations or frequencies. This distraction increases accident liabilities.
Many modern rigs contain speed governors or reporting devices, which work to keep a trucker within the legally posted speed limits. This device, as well as information relayed through smartphone apps, reduces the likelihood of needing to avoid law enforcement. Additionally, smartphone apps, GPS systems and dispatchers can solve the problem of needing directions, evading construction or rerouting away from traffic concerns.
In addition to the physical distractions of working a CB radio, truckers can let their minds wander or become absorbed in the conversation and take their attention off of the road. Safer, hands-free alternatives can help truckers avoid distracted driving incidents.