Distracted Truck Drivers

Jeff Varcadipane

November 22, 2021

Distracted Truck Drivers

Driving always carries risks and more for distracted truck drivers, as it inevitably leads to serious or even deadly accidents. Those involving truckers are among the worst because of the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles. Still, truck drivers can get distracted and cause injuries, and any victims should seek help from a New Jersey truck accident attorney.

Ban on Truck Drivers Texting and Driving

A study carried out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that drivers with commercial licenses increased their risk of a “safety-critical” event by six times when the driver used a handheld device behind the wheel. As a result of this research, FMCSA enacted rules banning interstate truck drivers from texting while driving and the agency put other restrictions on phone use while driving.

The research also prompted a change in federal law that made it illegal for an interstate truck driver to use a handheld mobile device in any one of the following ways:

  • Holding the device to receive or make a call
  • Pressing more than one button to dial a phone number
  • Attempting to access a webpage; and
  • Moving from a seated driving position in an effort to reach for a phone.

Violation of any of these rules could lead to serious penalties, including a fine of $2,750 and revocation of the commercial license for a trucker, and a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for the trucking company. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the known dangers of texting and engaging in other distracting behavior involving the phone while driving a commercial truck, this dangerous behavior is commonplace on New Jersey roads and continues to cause vehicle accidents.

Other Forms of Distracted Truck Driving

Cell phones are not the only devices that distract drivers. There are a range of other things with similar distracting effects, including:

  • Using a laptop or tablet
  • Employing a portable DVD player or music device
  •  Navigation gadgets like GPS  
  • Looking at an actual map
  • Adjusting or tuning a radio dial
  • Adjusting panel controls for things like heat or air conditioning
  • Eating and drinking
  • Reaching for or trying to grab something far away from the driver’s seat
  • Reading a newspaper or some work-related paperwork
  • Admiring the scenery

Types of Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents

Distracted driving accidents can cause catastrophic injuries—especially those involving a truck and a passenger vehicle. Some of the injuries commonly suffered by victims include:

  • Spinal injuries that may result in partial or total paralysis
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries and other injuries to the head
  • Whiplash
  • Disfigurement and permanent scarring
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding
  • Death

Contact One of our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted truck driver, you are likely already experiencing life-changing circumstances. When another person causes your accident, you are entitled to compensation to make you whole – which means to put you in a position as though the accident had never happened. Contact Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, today for a free consultation. We serve New Jersey but also have an office in Metro NYC.

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