There are no state laws in Texas that specifically ban texting while driving for truck drivers, or for most other drivers for that matter. Only school bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 cannot text from behind the wheel.
However, commercial truck drivers in the Dallas area are also included in the truck laws for texting and driving established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These laws prohibit commercial truck drivers from using cell phones or texting devices while they are at the wheel.
What are the distracted driving practices banned under federal truck laws for texting and driving?
The FMCSA defines “texting” as manual entering of text into a mobile device or reading of text from a mobile device.
Such texting can include not just SMS messages, but also other forms of messaging, like these.
- Instant messaging
- Using the Internet
Under federal truck laws for texting and driving, truck drivers are prohibited from using mobile phones, holding a mobile phone at the wheel, or even reaching for a cell phone to make or receive a call by dialing or pressing more than a single button on the keypad.
A commercial motor vehicle driver who wants to use his cell phone is allowed to use a hands-free device. The law prohibits not just cell phones, but also personal digital assistants, computers, laptops, and any other electronic communication device that can be used to send and receive text messages.
What are the risks associated with distracted driving by commercial truck drivers?
According to the FMCSA, a commercial truck driver who is using a hand-held cell phone while driving has a likelihood of being involved in an accident that is approximately six times higher than drivers who are not using a mobile phone at the wheel.
A trucker who is not paying attention to the road – and texting takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind away from driving – may strike another vehicle, pedestrians, or other individuals who share the roadway.
There are other studies cited by the FMCSA in defense of its stringent regulations against cell phone use while driving. One of those studies by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute estimated that the risks of being involved in an accident are more than 23 times higher when the driver was texting and driving, compared to when the driver was not.
How can I determine whether the truck driver involved in my accident was texting while driving?
Some truck accident evidence may allow claimants to prove the trucker was texting and driving. Investigations can include an analysis of the cell phone records of the truck driver, and these can determine if the driver was using a cell phone for texting or other activities at the time of the accident.
Cell phone records, however, are not easy to obtain. Speak to a car accident lawyer if you believe that distracted driving by a trucker caused your accident and wish to prove that the driver violated truck laws for texting and driving.
What damages are recoverable in a trucking accident claim?
A successful trucking accident claim can recover compensation for these things and more.
- Lost income
- Lost future income
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident, speak with accident attorney Julie Johnson.
A trucking accident claim will involve an extensive investigation of the accident scene, reconstruction of the events leading up to the accident, and collection of other important pieces of evidence that are critical to the success of your claim. Call 214-290-8001 or fill out the form on our contact page to set up a consultation so you can discuss your case with Julie Johnson.