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The Impact Of Cell Phones On Truck Accidents



Distracted driving is among the most common contributing factors to truck accidents, which are among the most dangerous types of accidents drivers can face on the road.

Distracted driving can result from various activities such as:

  • Listening to music
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Using a cell phone to talk or text

Because cell phones have become so ubiquitous and because they are a major contributing factor in many truck accidents, many state and federal agencies have enacted cell phone bans on truckers. If cell phone issues are related to your current truck accident case, you would do well to consult with a truck accident attorney to learn the relevant and applicable laws. Even if an accident is determined to be another driver's fault, your cell phone use may incriminate you as well.

Federal And State Cell Phone Laws

In November 2011, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a federal ban on cell phone use by truckers. This federal ban went into effect on January 3, 2012. However, there are similar cell phone laws in many states for drivers. If the driver of a standard-size vehicle was using a cell phone when the truck accident happened, the fault may be his.

In other words, cell phone use while driving is steadily acquiring the status of rules governing intoxication while driving. Every state and federal agency has laws on the books banning drinking while driving, and cell phone use is soon to be next. Secretary LaHood's latest ban is a major step forward in U.S. efforts to ban cell phone use while driving.

Other Details About The Federal Ban

About 4 million commercial bus and truck drivers are affected by the federal cell phone ban. While commercial truckers are allowed to communicate with employers through a hands-free device and while bus drivers may use built-in vehicle devices to keep in touch with dispatchers, neither driver is allowed to physically hold a mobile phone while conducting the vehicle.

Penalties For Violation

If you are found to violate the federal ban, whether or not you cause a truck accident, you may be liable for a fine of up to $2,750 and the loss of your commercial license. With cell phone bans reaching the status of DUI laws, be sure to consult with a truck accident lawyer before your trial.

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