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Tennessee truck drivers and cell phone use


Most Tennesseans know that distracted driving, particularly cell phone usage, can be extremely dangerous. Refraining from cell phone usage and other distractions, while behind the wheel, can prevent serious, perhaps even fatal accidents. When this topic is discussed, quite often it is in the context of regular, everyday commuters. But, what about those who drive commercial vehicles?

Sadly, even professional truck drivers use their cell phones behind the wheel, putting other motorists at an increased risk of harm. There are, however, federal rules in place that prohibit the use of a handheld cellular device. The rules also ban texting while driving, which also includes reading and sending instant messages and emails.

These rules apply to vehicles working in interstate commerce. And, the rules only allow the use of a cell phone if an earpiece or speaker phone is used, and when calls are activated by one button touch or voice.

Truckers who violate these rules may be subject to penalties. They might be fined and face disqualification, meaning they will no longer be able to operate a commercial vehicle. Though these are serious consequences, it is not foolproof. In the end, there will always be drivers who break the rules and give rise to devastating accidents.

When a truck accident leaves a victim with serious injuries, victims struggle in many ways. Paying for needed medical care and lost wages may make it difficult or impossible to pay other bills. The sheer pain and suffering that victims endure also takes its toll.

This is why considering one's legal options is so critical. If it can be shown that the accident was caused by a negligent truck driver or truck company, then compensation may be recovered to help cover those losses and provide financial stability.

Source: FMCSA.DOT.gov, "Distracted Driving," accessed on Sept. 25, 2015

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