Louisiana residents see their fair share of commercial trucks on their roads every single day. They also see the drivers of these trucks using their cellphones. If such behavior results in truck accidents, the victims of these events or — in the event of fatality — their surviving family members may seek relief for their losses through legal means.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set guidelines regarding cellphone use for commercial drivers. While they are allowed to use their phones, they have to do it in a certain way. According to the FMCSA, in order for a truck driver to use his or her cellphone:
- It must be mounted within reach or in an easily accessible place in the vehicle.
- It must have hands-free capability or single-button answer/call capabilities.
- It cannot be held while driving.
Why the rules? Statistics show that cellphone use behind the wheel contributes to a number of accidents in the state of Louisiana and across the country every year. Research shows that when a truck driver dials a number in the typical fashion, it is said that the driver’s eyes are off the road for roughly 3.8 seconds. If traveling at 55 mph, that means that he or she can travel the length of a football field before looking up at the road again. A lot can happen in that small amount of time.
Truck accidents caused by driver negligence — such as using a cellphone rather than paying attention to the road — happen more often than people think. The victims of these accidents or — in the event of fatality — their surviving family members may experience physical, financial and emotional losses that can be absolutely devastating. If it is possible to prove that truck driver negligence contributed to a truck accident, victims or their families may be able to successfully achieve compensation for their losses by pursuing legal claims in a Louisiana civil court.