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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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San Jose personal injury attorneysFor years now, public awareness campaigns have been reinforcing the inherent danger of cell phone use while driving. In fact, one could argue that the war against texting and driving is nearly equivalent to the anti-drunk driving efforts of the 1980’s. Today, 47 states and the District of Columbia have instituted complete bans on texting while driving, while Texas and Missouri maintain bans for younger drivers. Only Montana and Arizona have no laws prohibiting such mobile device use. However, a new study suggests that simply hearing a cell phone notification may be just as distracting as actually using the device.

Interesting Research

Conducted by researchers at Florida State University, the study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Lead author Cary Stothart and his team examined the impact to an individual’s attention caused by a cell phone notification—either an audible tone or vibration—while performing a task that demanded concentration. Using a non-driving computer project, test subjects were asked to perform an attention-intensive task twice. During the second round, participants received either a call, a text, or no notification, but were not permitted answer the call or read the message. The subjects were not aware that the texts and calls were part of the study.

According to the team’s results, participants who received notifications were three times more likely to make mistakes on the task that those that did not receive a call or text. Those who received calls were the most distracted of any group. When compared with similar studies related to actual cell phone use, the effect of the simple notification was found to very comparable to the distraction created by talking on the phone or texting.

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San JOse distracted driving accident lawyerAccording to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving behaviors such as reading a text, making a call, or simply changing the radio station while driving causes at least 12 percent of car accidents worldwide and 14 percent of U.S accidents. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has shed even more light on the subject. Ole Johansson, a researcher at Norway's Institute of Transport Economics, led the study that sought to identify which demographic of people was most likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving.

A Revealing Survey

Young men, frequent drivers, and those with neurotic and extroverted personalities were found to be the most likely to be dangerously distracted while driving. Older women were the least likely group of people to be distracted. The researchers acknowledged that their findings might be slightly skewed, however, because their method relied on self-reporting.

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San Jose personal injury attorneyOver the last week, national headlines have been abuzz with the story of an 18-year-old California woman who was broadcasting a video live to social media while behind the wheel. During the course of filming the video, she lost control of her car, resulting in an accident that killed the woman’s sister—and the whole thing was immediately posted to Instagram.

Despite warning after warning and countless advertisements and public safety messages, some drivers cannot seem to resist the temptation to use their cell phones while driving. Many convince themselves that it is fine to send a quick text message or read an email. In reality, however, using a hand-held cell phone while driving is simply unsafe.

Fatal Accident in Los Banos

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