Driving a semi-truck requires more than just concentration; it demands the free use of the driver’s hands to steer, signal, shift gears, control mirrors and perform other necessary functions. Holding a cell phone greatly increases the chance of a car accident with a truck.
In fact, a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that a truck accident was twice as likely when a commercial driver was holding or reaching for a cell phone and six times more likely when a commercial driver was dialing a cell phone.
Texting while driving is already illegal for anyone on the road in Georgia, but a federal law based on studies like VTTI’s that went into effect this year has taken cell phone restrictions one step further. It is now illegal for commercial drivers to use their hand-held devices AT ALL while they’re behind the wheel.
Under the law, drivers who are ticketed for using hand-held devices can be fined up to $2,750 for each offense, and license suspension can occur after two offenses. Commercial trucking and bus companies that allow the use of hand-held devices face a penalty of up to $11,000.
The use of cell phones with hands-free technology such as Bluetooth is still permitted under the rule.
For more details, this and other commercial driving regulations are available to view at the official website of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
If you’re involved in an accident with a truck, contact David Van Sant, an Alpharetta personal injury attorney who specializes in the complexities of dealing with trucking companies or businesses and their drivers.