According to the National Safety Council, 28 percent of all motor vehicle collisions involve cell phone use of some kind. At least 3 percent of crashes involve a motorist who is texting and driving, while 25 percent of wrecks involve someone who is talking on the phone.
Using a cell phone in any capacity is dangerous when behind the wheel, but the consequences can be especially catastrophic when a commercial driver does it. Accidents involving big rigs tend to be more devastating in general because of the sheer size of the vehicles, and distracted driving is a leading cause of truck wrecks in the United States.
If you sustained serious injuries in a distracted driving collision with a commercial driver, turn to the Cooper Law Firm to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Our clients appreciate the knowledge and commitment we bring to their cases, as well as our willingness to work closely with them, keeping them fully informed every step of the way. Call 903-297-0037 to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Texas.
Are There Specific Cell Phone Laws That Apply Solely to Commercial Drivers?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, laws regulating cell phone use when behind the wheel vary by state. For example, 15 states prohibit all motorists from using handheld devices while driving, and 47 states ban all motorists from texting.
In addition to these laws, there are federal regulations that prohibit the use of handheld mobile devices for all commercial drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these rules have been in effect since 2012.
What Does It Mean to Use a Mobile Device While Behind the Wheel?
Since people use their smartphones for virtually everything nowadays—including navigation—and hands-free capabilities are often an option, the FMCSA had to specify what it means to use a handheld device when driving. Truckers are violating the federal regulation if they:
- Hold their phone in at least one hand to make a call;
- Press more than a single button on their phone to dial a number; or
- Reach for their phone in such a way that they are no longer property restrained.
Commercial drivers who violate any of the above face a penalty of up to $2,750, and motor carriers who allow or require them to use a handheld mobile device while behind the wheel face a penalty of up to $11,000. Repeat offenders also face a license disqualification, which will have considerable financial consequences of its own.
Of course, such penalties are nothing compared to the damages that could result if they caused a devastating collision. If you were hurt in a truck accident with a distracted driver, contact the Cooper Law Firm today.
A strategic lawyer on our team can handle all the logistics of your case so you can focus on your health. Call 903-297-0037 to schedule a free case evaluation with a truck accident attorney. You can learn more about truck crashes in Texas by visiting truck-accident.usattorneys.com/texas.
Cooper Law Firm
501 North Third Street
Longview, TX 75601