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New Regulation Prohibits Truck Drivers from Handheld Cell Phone Use

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on January 6, 2012

A new regulation from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) went into effect on January 3, banning commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The regulation is based on studies the FMCSA conducted over the previous year showing that truckers who hold onto their cell phones to make calls or look up information while driving sharply increase their risk of causing an accident. It follows a regulation imposed by the FMCSA last year which prohibits drivers from texting while behind the wheel of a semi truck or bus. Drivers are still allowed to use hands-free devices to talk on cell phones while driving, and they may pull over to use a cell phone or send a text message.

According to the FMCSA, drivers who are reaching for a cell phone, thus taking their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel, are three times more likely to cause a commercial vehicle accident at that moment. Drivers who are dialing a number into a cell phone are six times more likely to cause an accident. Under the new rule, drivers could face fines of up to $2,750 for using a handheld cell phone and employers could face fines of up to $11,000.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, the experienced Washington cell phone accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., can help. To discuss your case with us, give us a call today at (888) 228-3860. The call is free and confidential.

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