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Federal regulations sharply limit trucker cell phone use

People in and around New Orleans probably recognize that distracted driving can be a real problem on Louisiana's roadways. Those who have seen someone trying to drive while they are talking on or using their cell phones know that they tend to drift in their lanes, not stop and engage in other dangerous behavior unwittingly.

The problem of distracted driving is particularly serious if the driver is operating a large truck. It takes a significant time, long enough to travel the length of a football field, for a trucker to take his or her eyes off the road just to make a phone call or send a quick instant message.

A serious truck accident can easily happen during this time, and the results of these accidents often include severe and even debilitating or fatal injuries, oftentimes because of the size difference between a truck and the cars around it.

For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency which regulates interstate truckers in Louisiana and the rest of the country, have passed rules largely prohibited truckers from using their cell phones, as cell phones are often the cause behind distracted driving. In doing so, the FMCSA noted that drivers who used their phones while driving are more likely to be involved in accidents or other safety critical events.

The rules only allow truckers to make phone calls if they are able to do so without holding anything in their hands and only if they can make the call with the touch of a single button. A trucker, or trucking company, that ignores these rules can be fined or, in bad cases, can even lose their privilege of operating in interstate commerce.

Additionally, if a trucker causes an accident while unlawfully using his or her cell phone, then he or she, and his or her employer, can be held financially accountable for the injuries they caused via a personal injury lawsuit.

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4700 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
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