Distracted driving is always dangerous and can cause serious accidents and injuries but the stakes can be even higher when a large truck is involved. For that reason, truck accident victims should be familiar with the legal protections available to them and the distracted driving rules for truck drivers.
Distracted driving rules for truck drivers
Truck drivers are prohibited from texting while driving and from using anything more than a single button to initiate or terminate a call using a cell phone. Truck drivers must also use hands-free mobile devices only. The prohibitions do not allow a truck driver to reach for a cell phone, hold a cell phone or press multiple buttons on their cell phone while driving. Research has shown that the odds of a truck driver being involved in a safety-critical event is 23.2 times greater for truck drivers who text while driving than those that do not. For those who dial a cell phone while driving, the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are 6 times greater.
Protections for truck accident victims
Truck drivers who text while driving or use their cell phone in ways that are prohibited while driving can face fines and other penalties. Additionally, they may face liability to victims who are injured in a distracted driving-related truck accident they caused. A personal injury claim for damages can help truck accident victims recover compensation from a negligent truck driver who caused an accident when texting while driving or engaging in other dangerous distracted driving behaviors.
On average, a driver who is texting while driving removes their eyes from the roadway for 4.6 seconds which, while traveling at 55 miles per hour, is the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field without looking. For this reason, victims of distracted truck drivers need to know about the legal resources available to them to help with their physical, financial and emotional damages.