Federal rules aim to prevent distracted driving truck accidents

Most people in Phoenix would agree that texting and driving is not safe, but unfortunately there are drivers who disregard this risk and use their cellphones while driving. While it is a dangerous risk to take for drivers of standard automobiles, a driver of a semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds could cause significant damage if they cause a truck accident due to distracted driving.

Federal rules are in place that prohibit drivers of semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles from texting and driving or utilizing a hand-held phone while behind the wheel. Texting involves manually typing on an electronic device or reading a message from an electronic device. This includes not just text messages, but also instant messages, email, accessing the Internet or pressing more than one button to start or end a phone call.

Operators of commercial motor vehicles are only permitted to use a hands-free phone located near them. They must be able to safely reach the device, but they cannot hold it or press more than one button. A phone must be able to be used while the driver is still restrained by his or her seatbelt. An earpiece or the speaker function on the device may be used, as can voice activation or one-touch features.

Unfortunately, some drivers will ignore these rules and text or otherwise use a cellphone while driving. This could result in hefty fines, but more importantly if a commercial motor vehicle driver causes a distracted driving crash, the victims of that crash may be able to pursue compensation through a legal filing. Distracted driving is a form of negligence, meaning that the driver breached their duty of care and this breached caused another individual to suffer damages. It is important to hold truck drives accountable when they cause accidents due to distracted driving.

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