Most people are aware of the dangers of using mobile phones while driving. It is all too easy for a driver to become distracted, especially when attempting to dial a number. And if the driver in question is behind the wheel of a semitrailer traveling at highway speeds, all other road users are at risk.
Research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration bears out that truck drivers who dial while driving are far more likely to be involved in so-called “safety-critical” incidents than drivers who do not. As such, the FMCSA has created specific regulations regarding the use of mobile devices by truck drivers.
Truck drivers are forbidden from doing any of the following while operating their rigs:
- Reaching for a mobile device in such a manner that he or she ceases to be properly seated and in driving position while restrained by a safety belt.
- Holding a mobile phone in one or both hands while making a call.
- Pressing more than one button on a mobile phone.
Truck drivers cited for being in violation of these rules can be fined as much as $2750. And employers who coerce or force their drivers to operate mobile devices while behind the wheel can receive fines as high as $11,000. Unfortunately, the prospect of such fines does not always prevent truckers or their employers from acting counter to the regulations.
A truck driver who is not paying attention to the road could all too easily swerve from lane to lane or be unprepared to slow down or stop when necessary. And should such scenarios lead to an accident, those struck by the truck could suffer catastrophic injuries.
If you or someone in your family was injured in a truck accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney could carry out an investigation. The attorney may be able to demonstrate liability on behalf of the truck driver or the driver’s employer. In turn, you may wish to file a civil suit against the responsible parties.