- Truck drivers who are caught breaking distracted driving laws can be fined up to $2,750 and risk losing their licenses after two offenses. A trucking company that allows its drivers to ignore the federal ban on cell phone use faces a fine of up to $11,000.
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a truck driver who is texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker who is paying full attention to the road.
- The truck driver, trucking company and other parties can legally be held responsible for your injuries and property damage if there is evidence of distracted driving.
- Distracted driving can include use of cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players and radios; smoking; reading maps or other printed materials; grooming or personal hygiene; eating or drinking; or talking to passengers.
- Are truck drivers subject to stricter distracted driving rules?
- What devices are included in the distracted driving rules for truck drivers?
- What are the penalties for truck drivers who are caught using cell phones while driving?
- How much more likely are accidents when truck drivers are using hand-held cell phones?
- Can a trucker’s employer be held responsible for damages?
- Is it possible to prove that a trucker’s distracted driving caused an accident?
Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers Representing Injured People Across Georgia
Distracted driving is a growing traffic safety threat in Atlanta and beyond. When an operator of an 80,000-pound truck is more focused on texting or talking on the phone than watching the road, it is a recipe for disaster. Truck drivers often indulge in various diversions behind the wheel because they have to endure long stretches of solitude in the cab of a tractor-trailer. But that is no excuse for putting other motorists at risk of a serious accident, particularly when heavy trucks can be so lethal.
If a distracted truck driver was to blame for an accident that injured you or a loved one, let our Georgia distracted driving truck accident lawyers help. The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at The Millar Law Firm have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts, settlements and judgments for clients who have been hurt in traffic accidents. Our firm has the experience necessary to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve in a truck accident lawsuit.
Truck accidents are serious business. Unlike some law firms who may connect you to non-attorneys, when you call The Millar Law Firm you will speak to an attorney about your case immediately or you will be called back by one of our lawyers in just a few minutes. We constantly monitor our calls and internet contacts, and strive return all calls and inquiries promptly even during the evening, and on weekends and holidays.
Contact us today to find out how we can help. Just call 404-620-4301 or fill out our online contact form. The Millar Firm does not charge for meeting with you and evaluating your truck accident claim. If we accept your case, you won’t pay us any legal fees unless you recover compensation.
Our distracted driving truck accident lawyers represent injured people all over Georgia, including Atlanta, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Riverdale, Marietta, Forest Park, East Point, College Park, North Atlanta, Rome, Augusta, Savannah and all other communities in Georgia. We are ready to get started on your case today.
Distracted Driving Regulations For Georgia Truck Drivers
The federal government recognizes truck driver distraction is a hazard that continues to increase. That’s why it’s taking steps to reduce accidents caused by this kind of dangerous behavior.
Severe penalties are now in place nationwide for commercial drivers, including truck drivers, who use handheld cell phones while operating their vehicles. This new law prohibits drivers throughout the United States from using any kind of handheld cell phones or texting devices while operating a commercial motor vehicle on the highway, even when briefly stopped on the road in traffic.
In addition, any television screen or viewer must be positioned so that it’s not visible to the driver or able to be used while the vehicle is in motion. CB radios, fleet management systems and GPS navigation systems aren’t included in this regulation. Calls that can be made with a single button or to emergency services are exempt as well.
A truck driver who is caught breaking this law can expect a fine of up to $2,750. After two or more offenses, tractor-trailer drivers may risk losing their licenses. A trucking company that allows its drivers to ignore the federal ban on cell phone use faces a fine of up to $11,000.
Although dispatching devices and GPS navigation systems are not banned in trucks, the Department of Transportation (DOT) does have recommendations when it comes to the use of these systems. Since they are also capable of causing potentially deadly distractions, the DOT suggests that truck and bus drivers operate these electronic devices only when stopped.
The law against handheld cell phone use by tractor-trailer drivers is a good start toward decreasing the number of truck-related fatalities and injuries on the roads around Atlanta. But the statistics on accidents caused by distracted truckers are worthy of alarm. Some of the most frightening facts revealed in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies include a truck driver:
- Texting while operating a semi is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker who is paying full attention to the road.
- Using a dispatching device increases the odds of an accident 8.9 times.
- Looking at a map is 7 times more likely to have an accident.
- Reaching for a cell phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to be in an accident.
- Dialing a cell phone is 5.9 times more likely to crash.
Other distractions also can cause hazards, including:
- PDAs, MP3 players and radios
- Looking at maps, manifests or other printed materials
- Grooming and personal hygiene
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
Evidence of distracted driving of any sort could be an important factor in a Georgia truck accident lawsuit. Showing that a truck driver was distracted and that the distraction contributed to the wreck could be enough evidence to establish negligence on the trucker’s part. Evidence of distracted driving could result in the truck driver, the trucking company and other parties being held legally responsible for your injuries and property damage.
Contact Our Atlanta Distracted Driving Attorneys Today
Distractions are a reality on today’s roadways. However, you have the right to expect truck drivers to drive responsibly and pay attention to the road. There is no excuse for any distracted behavior while driving a large truck, tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler or semi.
If you have been injured in a crash with a distracted truck driver, the Atlanta personal injury lawyers at The Millar Law Firm can help you protect your rights and maximize the compensation you receive. Contact us to find out how we can help. Call us now at 404-620-4301 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation and consultation.
Trucks represent a large percentage of the vehicles traveling on Georgia highways. These vehicles weigh up to 80,000 pounds and take nearly twice as long to stop as ordinary passenger vehicles. Distracted driving laws have been enacted to keep truckers from talking on cell phones or watching television while driving, with hefty fines in place to discourage such activities. Still, accidents happen.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, distracted driving may have been partially to blame. Proving that the driver was reading a map, fiddling with the radio, reaching for his French fries, or otherwise not focused on the road can be difficult without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with interstate trucking claims.