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Pennsylvania personal injury: Distracted commercial drivers

It is scary to see or drive near a commercial truck that is weaving in and out of its lane. Unfortunately, this is a common sight in Pennsylvania or elsewhere. Is this a sign that the driver is having a hard time controlling the truck or an indication that the driver simply is not paying attention? In either event, this can result in a wreck, causing an unsuspecting victim to suffer severe personal injury.

Anyone who has seen an accident involving a semi-trailer knows the destruction that these big machines can do. In order to help prevent collisions, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set strict guidelines that trucking companies and their employees are to follow regarding cellphone use. Current laws state that:

  • Texting and emailing are prohibited
  • Reading texts or emails is not allowed
  • Talking is okay if one is using a hands-free device, or if one-button touch or voice-activated features are turned on

Drivers and their employers can be held responsible for any damages sustained by victims if cellphone use contributed to an accident. Drivers may also face criminal charges, have to pay fines and risk losing their licenses if found guilty of using mobile devices inappropriately while driving. Because of these consequences one would think that truck drivers would not want to risk using their phones, but it does still happen far too frequently.

The personal injury one can suffer when in a collision with a semi-trailer or other large commercial vehicle can change one's life long-term. Brain injuries, back injuries, chronic pain and various other ailments often result from such incidents. If truck driver negligence led to the crash, according to the laws of Pennsylvania one may have legal recourse. An experienced attorney can assist one in taking the appropriate measure to seek full compensation for one's losses.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, "Distracted Driving", Accessed on June 26, 2017

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