Cell Phone Use and Commercial Truck Drivers
Helping Truck Accident Victims in Houston, TX
Using a hand-held cell phone while driving is not only dangerous, it is actually against the law for commercial drivers. Though Texas does not have a statewide ban on cell phone use for regular drivers, and Houston does not currently implement a hand-held cell phone use law that applies to all drivers, commercial drivers who operate large trucks and buses are prohibited from all hand-held cell phone use under federal trucking regulations. Truck drivers are held to higher standards and stricter regulations when it comes to operating their vehicles because of their sheer size and weight and the potential hazard they pose to everyone on the road.
Were you injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler, big rig, tanker truck or other large commercial vehicle? If you believe that cell phone use or a similar type of driver negligence was involved, a Houston truck accident attorney at our firm may be able to help you in your pursuit of justice and fair compensation for your injuries.
At Stern Law Group, we represent the injured – fighting tirelessly for the monetary damages that will help them rebuild their lives in the wake of serious accidents.
FMCSA Regulations on Trucker Cell Phone Use
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prohibited all hand-held cell phone use for commercial truck and bus drivers in the United States. This rule was implemented in November 2011, shortly after the FMCSA banned texting while driving among commercial drivers. According to FMCSA research, these regulations were certainly warranted, given the danger posed by commercial driver cell phone use. For example, FMCSA research showed that:
- Reaching for a cell phone may increase a commercial driver's chances of an accident by three times.
- Dialing a hand-held cell phone may increase a commercial driver's chances of a collision by six times.
Violations of FMCSA cell phone regulations may result in harsh penalties. Drivers who text or use hand-held cell phones while driving may face civil fines of up to $2,750 per offense, and may be disqualified from driving commercial vehicles for multiple offenses. Motor carriers who require or permit their drivers to text or use hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel may face civil fines of up to $11,000 per offense.
Truck drivers and trucking companies who violate federal trucking regulations and cause serious collisions may also be brought to justice by the victims of these accidents. Those injured by truck drivers who were using cell phones while driving may be able to pursue financial compensation through civil court proceedings, such as a personal injury lawsuit. Families of those who lose their lives may be able to pursue wrongful death actions against negligent truck drivers or trucking companies. These lawsuits can give victims and their families the opportunity to not only hold these at-fault parties accountable for their conduct, but can help them recover money for medical bills, property damage, lost earnings and other unforeseen expenses or losses they have experienced.
Call a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you are interested in finding out what can be done to hold a negligent truck driver accountable for using a hand-held cell phone while driving, call a Houston truck accident lawyer at our firm. Our legal team has more than 150 years of combined legal experience and uses our considerable knowledge and resources to help our clients face off against large trucking companies and insurance providers as we pursue fair and complete compensation on their behalf.
Contact Stern Law Group today to get started. We are here to help and support you.