According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year. Texting and driving is among the most common forms of driver distraction and can lead to some of the most severe collisions—especially when commercial truck drivers are involved.
Semi-trucks require much larger distances to stop due to their size and weight. When a truck driver is texting and driving, it affects their ability to notice changes in traffic or obstacles in the road, significantly reducing the time they have to stop. Therefore, these accidents often occur at full speed, causing catastrophic damage. If texting and driving played a role in your or your loved one’s truck accident, you have a right to seek damages from the liable party.
Truck Drivers Have a Higher Duty to Drive Safely
Truck drivers have to undergo additional training in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license and operate a large truck. By extension, they are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving safely and looking out for others on the road. This includes avoiding distractions behind the wheel, such as texting.
Though Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations aim to discourage the use of cell phones behind the wheel, texting-related truck accidents are still prevalent. Further, cell phone use is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States.
Taking your eyes off the road even for a second can lead to a catastrophic accident due to the speed and force often involved. Truck drivers should be especially aware of this due to the large, heavy vehicles they drive. If you are a victim of a distracted truck driver, you can file a claim or lawsuit against them. You may also have a case against their employer. A truck accident attorney can handle both for you.
What Are the Truck Industry Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use?
To discourage this catastrophic activity, the FMCSA issued a strict ban on the use of cell phones among commercial drivers, including truck drivers. This means it is illegal for truck drivers to hold their cell phones while on the road. If they need to use their cell phones, truck drivers must use the hands-free mode through a Bluetooth device.
Those who hold a cell phone in their hand while driving violate FMCSA regulations and can be fined $2,750 for a single offense. Multiple offenses can result in more hefty fines, including disqualification from driving commercially. According to the law, holding a cell phone includes:
- Reading a text or looking up information on the phone
- Just holding the cell phone while driving
- Reaching for the cell phone
Any activity other than pushing a single button to terminate or initiate a call while driving is illegal. These rules apply to all drivers who are engaged in interstate commerce.
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How do You Establish Liability in Texting-Related Truck Accidents?
Since using a cell phone is an act of negligence or carelessness, evidence of this behavior can make a truck driver liable when it leads to an accident with injuries or fatalities. This means you could claim compensation under their liability policy. However, the truck driver may not be the only party liable for your or your loved one’s damages.
The trucking company may also be liable for its employee’s actions, especially if the driver was taking a work-related phone call or sending work-related emails or texts. Not only could you claim compensation from the driver’s liability insurance, but your lawyer can also file a claim against the trucking company.
Through a claim or lawsuit, you could recover compensation for multiple damages. This may include medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses and losses.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Since truckers are subject to federal laws, these cases can be more difficult to pursue than other car accident cases. Therefore, it can be beneficial to work with a lawyer familiar with the state and federal trucking regulations. Our team knows how to investigate such claims to protect your legal rights and fight for fair compensation. This leaves you time to recover without worrying about your case.
Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you or a loved one was in a truck accident due to texting and driving, we want to discuss your case as soon as possible. Since such claims have a lot at stake and are challenging to handle, it’s ideal to get started right away in order to preserve as much evidence as we can to support your case.
Our truck accident lawyers at Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers are ready to handle your claim, represent you in court, and fight for maximum compensation. Call us today for a free consultation and more information.