Many people associate distracted driving with teenagers. However, age rarely factors into whether someone chooses to drive distracted. Adults are also capable of wanting to check text messages, social media and emails while at the wheel.
In fact, adults may even get on their smartphones while driving as part of their jobs. If the thought of teenagers texting and driving scares you, then the idea of commercial truck drivers texting at the wheel should terrify you.
Commercial trucks are big and dangerous. They require more attention and care to safely drive than smaller passenger vehicles. Truck drivers who engage in distraction could very well cause crashes that prove fatal for the people in the smaller vehicles involved.
Both state and federal law prohibit texting for commercial drivers
You probably already know that Louisiana has a state law prohibiting texting at the wheel. Drivers can face fines and other penalties, especially if they repeatedly break the law. This standard applies to commercial truck drivers, even if they hail from out of state. After all, ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law.
Even if the truck driver doesn’t know about Louisiana’s specific state laws on texting, they are, no doubt, familiar with the federal policy. Federal regulations for commercial truck drivers set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration include a complete ban on manual mobile phone usage in the vehicle.
Commercial drivers should not manually dial a phone number, type an email, compose a text message, access a web page or read anything on their phone while driving. Getting caught doing so can result in a fine for both the driver and the employer and potentially the loss of their eligibility for commercial driving. Tickets for distracted driving can impact the safety rating of carriers/employers as well.
You can take action against distracted commercial drivers
If you are on the road and encounter a truck driver who is clearly texting or using their phone while driving, you may want to pull over and record the information about their vehicle. You can then either call the trucking company or law enforcement to report what you witnessed. If you have passengers in your vehicle, they can assist you by handling the process. This way, you don’t even have to stop.
For some people, awareness of distracted truck drivers doesn’t occur until after they or someone they love gets hurt because of a distracted truck driver. If you count yourself among that number, it may be time to sit down with a Louisiana attorney. Discuss the situation and your potential right to seek compensation for injuries and property damage suffered as a result of the crash.