Federal texting and driving laws make it illegal for commercial truck drivers to use texting devices while driving. Driving laws also specifically prohibit drivers of vehicles transporting hazardous materials and substances from such practices.
Under the rules, texting specifically refers to the use of a device like a cell phone for sending or receiving text messages. “Text messages” refer not just to short message services, but also e-mails, instant messages and web surfing. If a commercial truck driver is engaged in any of these activities while driving, he is in violation of the driving law. He is also at a very high risk of causing an accident on the highway.
If a Dallas truck driver violates the texting rule, he is eligible for civil penalties of up to $2,750. For multiple offenses, he may lose his commercial driver’s license.
Accident data clearly indicates the higher risks of an accident when a commercial truck driver is texting while driving. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a commercial truck driver’s risk of causing an accident is approximately 23.2 times higher when he is texting while driving than when he’s not. A driver who is texting tends to take his eyes away from the road and his hands away from the wheel for approximately 4.6 seconds. That is sufficient time to cause a serious accident.
If you were involved in an accident with a driver who was texting while driving, you may qualify to file a claim for compensation against the truck driver, trucking company and other parties. However, proving negligence or liability will depend on proving the driver was texting at the wheel.
You may have to access the truck driver’s cell phone records to determine whether he was texting in the seconds leading up to the crash. It’s difficult for an average Dallas resident to accomplish this on his or her own. Speak to a trucking accident lawyer in Dallas about how to prove the truck driver in your case was texting at the wheel at the time of the accident.