Despite state laws and federal regulations that commercial drivers must abide by, it is not hard to spot a semi driver who is distracted due to using a cellphone. It is unfortunate that, because of this simple act, one might suffer a personal injury or worse if an accident results. Ohio residents who have been hurt or lost loved ones in collisions with distracted semi drivers may have legal recourse.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers are not allowed to text while driving. They are also not allowed to read texts or other electronic communications received on their cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. Truck drivers may use mobile phones to talk or text if:
- The phone is easily accessible
- They use approved hands-free devices
- They use one-button touch or voice-activated features
Drivers who do not follow these guidelines may get ticketed, which could affect their driving privileges. They may also have to pay fines of up to $2,750. Trucking companies who allow their drivers to use cellphones without the proper hands-free equipment may also have to pay fines.
The FMCSA does not take mobile phone use when behind the wheel lightly. Why? The damage that large commercial haulers can do when involved in an accident can be devastating. Anyone who has been a victim of such an incident or who has lost a family member in one knows this.
Proving that a truck driver was distracted by his or her cellphone in a personal injury or wrongful death case is not always easy. It could take time to gain access to phone records and to fully investigate the matter. However, with the assistance of an experienced attorney, Ohio residents can take the steps necessary to obtain the required information so that they can pursue compensation for their losses in civil court.
Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, “Distracted Driving“, Accessed on June 26, 2017