Cell phone use is a form of distracted driving and can cause fatal accidents. According to the National Safety Council, cell phones account for 27 percent of car accidents. If you or someone you know was injured by a commercial vehicle, such as a large truck or bus, you may be wondering what the rules are regarding driving and cell phone use.
Those who own a commercial driver’s license (CDL) operate large trucks, passenger buses, and school buses. CDL drivers have a higher amount of responsibility on the road because it takes more skill to operate large vehicles. If a CDL driver commits a traffic violation, their CDL license may be jeopardized. Research shows that CDL drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident as a result of reaching for something, and six times more likely to be in an accident as a result of using a cell phone.
CDL Cell Phone Laws
Cell phone laws differ from state to state for both CDL drivers and non-commercial drivers. In 47 states, texting while behind the wheel is illegal for all drivers, including CDL drivers. Twenty states have banned any form of cell phone use by school bus drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) made it illegal for truck drivers to use cell phones while behind the wheel. Their rules state that truck drivers cannot hold, dial, or reach for a hand-held cell phone while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. However, drivers are permitted to use a hands-free device, such as an earpiece.
Although handheld cellphone use is illegal for truck drivers, drivers tend to ignore the laws that ban cellphone use. In addition, certain commercial trucking companies require drivers to use cell phones.
Consequences for Truck Drivers Using Cell Phones While Driving
There are consequences for truck drivers who use cell phones while driving. These consequences include:
- Federal fines of over $2,000 for each offense
- After multiple offenses, suspension of the CDL
- Commercial trucking companies who allow their drivers to use cell phones while behind the wheel are subject to fines of up to $11,000
Our Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Represent Clients Injured in Truck Accidents Due to Distracted Driving
Trucks can cause serious accidents. If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, contact a Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced lawyers will fight tirelessly to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.