A new federal law prohibiting commercial drivers from using hand-held mobile devices began on January 3. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the new ban prohibits drivers of commercial vehicles from “holding, dialing, or reaching for hand-held cell phones.” This ban includes phones with a push-to-talk function. Unless the driver has pulled over off the highway, commercial drivers are not even allowed to use their phone at a traffic stop. Drivers are, however, allowed to use a device with a wireless earpiece or a speakerphone function.
Commercial drivers in interstate commerce or those involved in intrastate transportation of hazardous materials face fines of up to $2,750 for using a hand-held cell phone. The companies that employ drivers who violate this new law could face penalties of up to $11,000.
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when they are driving distracted. Victims of distracted drivers may pursue financial compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury claim. In such cases, compensation may be available for medical bills, lost wages, the costs of rehabilitation services, and other related damages.
The skilled truck accident injury lawyers in New Jersey at Lependorf & Silverstein have the knowledge, skill, and resources necessary to handle complex distracted driving cases. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a New Jersey truck or bus accident, please call our offices at (609) 240-0040 for a free consultation.