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Distracted Driving and Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

truck driver texting, Chicago personal injury lawyerDistracted driving is becoming one of the most cited causes for motor vehicle accidents in the United States with the increased use of cellphones while driving. More than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured each day in accidents caused by distracted driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates all drivers involved in interstate commerce or intrastate transportation of hazardous materials and inter- and intrastate Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers. FMCSA describes commercial drivers as those who operate buses and large trucks, such as single unit trucks or tractor-trailer trucks. These drivers make up approximately 5.6 million drivers in the United States.

With so many commercial vehicle drivers on the roadways, FMCSA banned the use of texting for commercial truck drivers in 2010 to help prevent distracted driving. Companies are not allowed to require commercial drivers to text or call from their cell phones while driving.

The FMCSA regulations prohibit text messaging, reaching for or holding a cell phone in their hand or making phone calls that require the driver to push more than one button while they are operating commercial vehicles. If commercial drivers are found to be breaking the regulations, they can be fined up to $2,750 and have their CDL revoked for multiple offenses. The company the driver works for may also be fined up to $11,000.

These regulations and possible consequences have not stopped commercial drivers from using their cell phones while driving though. An investigation in New York City revealed that many commercial drivers are still texting and talking on their cell phones while driving. In one case, they found a driver was carrying on two conversations on two phones while driving. This is not only dangerous to the commercial driver, but to others on the roadway as well.

Over 5,000 trucking accidents happen each year on highways alone. Accidents caused by commercial vehicles due to distracted driving can cost other driver’s their lives or cause serious injury. These accidents can impact your ability to work, live your everyday life without restrictions, participate in family activities, or enjoy activities you were involved in before the accident. Speaking with a truck accident attorney can help you understand your rights to compensation and getting your life back together after an accident caused by a commercial driver. Texting while driving a commercial vehicle is banned and if an accident is caused due to the driver breaking the regulations, they should be held liable for the damages they caused to someone else’s life.

Commercial drivers and the companies they drive for should be held accountable for causing accidents due to distracted driving. If you have been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer today. Call the law office of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation.

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