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San Jose truck crash lawyerAny driver who is distracted by his or her cell phone poses an injury risk to other people on the road, but a distracted truck driver can be especially dangerous. A semi-truck traveling at 55 miles per hour can take more than 5 seconds to come to a complete stop, but sending a text message can remove a driver’s attention from the road for at least this long, so a distracted truck driver may not even have the opportunity to start slowing down before a serious collision occurs. For this reason, cell phone use is strictly regulated for truck drivers throughout the U.S.

Cell Phone Regulations For Commercial Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits truck drivers from not just sending and reading text messages and other electronic communication while driving, but all handheld cell phone use. This includes holding a phone while making a call, dialing that requires pressing more than one button, and reaching for a phone. Drivers who violate these restrictions can be fined up to $2,750 and disqualified from driving, and truck driver employers who fail to enforce these restrictions can be fined up to $11,000. Handheld cell phone use while driving is also a violation of California law in most cases, and can result in a fine of at least $20 for a first offense and $50 for additional offenses.

Pursuing Compensation from a Texting Truck Driver

These regulations and penalties may prevent many truck accidents, but if you are injured by a truck driver who was distracted by a cell phone, you can file a personal injury claim to further hold the driver accountable and pursue compensation for your damages. It is not always easy to demonstrate that a driver was distracted, but an attorney can help you collect crucial evidence that potentially includes camera footage of the accident, police reports, and the driver’s phone records.

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Highways can be dangerous roads, given the high speeds and variety of vehicles present. Accidents on the highway can vary in the intensity and level of disruption of traffic-and a highway accident involving one or more commercial trucks can wreak havoc on traffic patterns, not to mention cause serious injuries for those involved.

Recently, San Jose highways were disrupted due to several big rig accidents. One accident involved a 18 wheeler and a stalled SUV. The two vehicles collided, and the big rig hit a guardrail, resulting in about 100 gallons of leaked diesel fuel. The truck driver was injured and taken to a local hospital, while another person was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Hazardous materials crews were called to the scene to clean up the leaked fuel and the materials that the firefighters used to contain the spilled fuel. The second accident that same day resulted in a multi-truck fire. Fire crews worked to make sure that the fire, which fully engulfed one big rig and was spreading to two others, did not spread further.

Accidents involving commercial vehicles such as 18 wheelers can be much more dangerous than accidents involving passenger cars or other vehicles. Big rigs are not only much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, but they also carry a large amount of diesel fuel, and could be carrying hazardous cargo. If they are carrying hazardous cargo, and it spills in an accident, people who come into contact with it could experience additional or different injuries than those from the impact only.

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