Driving while distracted is especially dangerous if you’re behind the wheel of a big-rig or semi-truck that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds—20 to 30 times the weight of most passenger vehicles. When trucks and passenger vehicles collide, the result is often serious injury or death.
With so much at stake, it's critical that commercial drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, at all times. However, professional truck drivers are just as likely to drive distracted as the average motorist. Common distractions for both commercial drivers and other drivers include eating and drinking, reading a map or using a navigational device, and changing the music in the vehicle.
Using a cell phone or smartphone while driving is especially hazardous for truckers. Texting, emailing, using social media, or watching videos can all contribute to a deadly accident. That's why the federal agency that regulates the interstate commercial trucking industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), prohibits interstate truckers from texting or otherwise using hand-held mobile phones while operating large commercial trucks. In fact, the FMCSA expressly forbids commercial drivers from reaching for, dialing, or holding cell phones, and truckers are not allowed to read or send texts or emails while driving.
Truckers caught violating these rules face fines of up to $2,750, and repeat offenders may be suspended from working as a commercial driver for up to 120 days. Additionally, trucking companies that knowingly allow their drivers to use hand-held phones while driving can face fines of up to $11,000, and repeated violations may negatively impact the company's safety rating.
Do You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted trucker, the experienced attorneys with Holton Law Firm may be able to help you pursue compensation for damages. Call Holton Law Firm today to schedule your free, no-obligation initial case consultation.