Truckers often spend long hours on the road, and it is not uncommon for them to try to save time and multitask behind the wheel. How many times have you seen a trucker eating, smoking, or worse, using a cellphone while driving? Chances are, often.
These reckless actions put the trucker at risk of causing a truck accident that could injure or kill another driver, especially given the sheer size and weight disparity between a fully loaded semi-truck and a standard automobile. For this reason, the U.S. government has enacted rules restricting cell phone use for CMV drivers.
What type of cell phone use is prohibited for CMV drivers?
Federal rules state that CMV drivers cannot reach for or hold a cellphone for the purpose of talking on the phone while driving. CMV drivers cannot dial a cellphone or press more than one button while driving. Hands-free phone use is permitted if the phone is in close proximity to the driver. CMV drivers cannot text and drive.
Why is texting and driving so risky?
CMV drivers who text while driving are over 23 times more likely to commit a safety-critical event, such as a truck crash, compared to CMV drivers who were not texting and driving. When a trucker is texting, their eyes are off the road and on their form for around 4.6 seconds. If the trucker is travelling at 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
Truckers who merely dial a cellphone while behind the wheel are six times more likely to cause a safety-critical event, such as a truck accident, compared to truckers who are not dialing a cellphone while driving. Clearly texting and driving is just as risky for truckers as it is for any other drivers on the road.
What are your options if you are involved in a truck accident?
If you are struck by a distracted truck driver, it is likely you will suffer serious injuries. It is only natural that you will want to be compensated for the harms you suffered. One way to do so is to pursue a personal injury claim based on negligence.
To prove negligence, you need to show the trucker had a duty to drive safely, which was breached when they crashed into you. You also need to prove that the crash actually caused your injuries and but for the crash you would not have suffered such injuries. Finally, you need to show you suffered actual damages due to the crash. We understand if the idea of pursuing a legal claim feels overwhelming, especially following a serious commercial vehicle accident. Fortunately, our firm is ready to listen to your story so you can learn more about your legal rights and options.