Blog, Truck Accident

Laws on Cell Phone Usage While Driving a Large Truck

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Cell phone use can be a serious hazard for truck drivers. While using a phone behind the wheel is dangerous under any circumstances, it becomes especially risky when it involves a large truck on a major highway like the I-79 near Clarksburg. Because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCAS) has instituted federal trucking regulations on cell phone usage.

Placing and Receiving Phone Calls

Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile devices. Although drivers can use hands-free cell phones, there are restrictions that apply to them as well.

Calls can only be placed or received if it requires nothing more than pressing a single button. Drivers can use the speaker function, voice activation or an earpiece. But at no time can a driver use a cell phone if it requires pressing more than one button.

Penalties for violating these restrictions could include fines up to $2,750. If there are multiple violations, a driver could be disqualified from operating a truck. Trucking companies found in violation (by allowing or requiring the driver to use a cell phone improperly) can result in penalties as high as $11,000.

Ban on Texting While Driving & Other Mobile Tasks

At no time can a truck driver send or read a text message while operating a commercial motor vehicle. This also includes accessing the internet, instant messaging or emails. Any form of communication performed through a mobile device cannot involve holding it or pressing more than a single button. The same penalties apply for violating texting rules.

There are many other types of federal requirements for truck drivers. Using a cell phone is just one example in which a violation could be considered a contributing factor in an accident. If a trucker violated these rules and it caused an accident, victims may hold the trucker and his/her employer liable for damages. Talk to an attorney at The Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg to review your case.

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Written by
Tim Miley
Tim Miley is the founder of The Miley Legal Group. After earning his undergraduate degree in finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, Tim attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Tim is admitted to practice in all courts in West Virginia and is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Bar Association and the Harrison County Bar Association.
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