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Distracted driving rules for truckers

Have you been injured in a truck accident in New Jersey? Was the driver distracted by a device at the time of the crash? If so, you should know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has laid down the law when it comes to distracted driving, making it so that drivers are not permitted to take part in a host of actions, which include:

-- Reading text messages-- Writing or sending text messages-- Browsing the Internet-- Sending or reading email messages-- Talking on handheld phones-- Reaching for cellphones-- Using push-to-talk devices

If drivers decide to break these regulations, the FMCSA can impose fines of $2,750. If a driver is found at fault multiple times, the commercial license can be revoked. These are serious actions that have serious ramifications.

The FMCSA knows that some companies may be tempted to tell their drivers to break the rules or to create an environment in which such a thing is allowed. If this happens, the company can be fined $11,000. In this way, companies are held accountable for the actions of their drivers, so they will theoretically work hard to enforce the rules and avoid the fines.

Though these fines are important, remember that they do not go to you or cover your costs. The fact that the driver broke the rules could be important, though, as it helps to establish fault in the accident. From there, you must know how to legally seek compensation for your medical costs, damaged property, lost wages, disabilities, or any other costs coming from the accident.

Source: FMCSA, "Distracted Driving," accessed March 25, 2016

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