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Department of Transportation Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use for Truckers

Earlier today, TheTrucker.com reported that the United States Department has officially finalized a final rule which prohibits interstate truck drivers from using hand-held cellular telephones during vehicle operation. In a joint effort from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as well as, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, operators of commercial trucks or buses found in violation of the hand-held cellular telephone ban may be subjected to federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Additionally, if a commercial vehicle driver commits two or more serious traffic violations, authorities of that state will suspend the driver’s commercial driver’s license. Any trucking company or carrier that permits their drivers to use hand-held cellular telephones during vehicle operation will also be subject to a serious fine … with the maximum penalty of $11,000.

This new rule has been established in light of numerous semi truck accidents that have occurred as a direct result of distracted commercial vehicle drivers. With over four million commercial vehicle drivers being affected by the United States Department of Transportation’s new rule, the agency hopes to see a substantial decrease in semi truck accidents caused by distracted driving.

The report additionally discusses the research by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration into driver distraction, which ultimately led to the creation of this new rule. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s research revealed that by using a hand-held cell phone while operating an 80,000 pound vehicle requires the commercial vehicle driver to perform several dangerous actions, such as searching and reaching for the mobile device.
When a commercial vehicle driver reaches for an object, such as a cellular device, they are three more times likely to be involved in a collision.

Our Illinois semi truck accident lawyers read that further research indicated that dialing a cell phone makes it six times more likely that the semi truck driver will be involved in a destructive accident. With over 4,400 fatalities and 500,000 injuries resulting from a distracted driver in 2009, safety measures, such as the establishment of this new rule, must be taken to avoid these tragic collisions.

Having represented hundreds of victims of negligence, our experienced Chicago truck accident lawyers know firsthand the devastating and tragic effects that semi truck accidents have on victims and their families. If you have been involved in a collision with a large commercial vehicle please contact our experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.