Georgia Truck Drivers and Cellphones: A Deadly Combination
Under federal law, commercial motor vehicle operators are not allowed to use cellphones to text while driving. They are also restricted from using cellphones for talking unless they are using a hands-free device. Violations of these regulations can result in civil penalties of up to $2,750 in fines. Recent changes in Georgia law have brought state rules in line with federal regulations, so there is hope that those changes result in fewer accidents.
Common types of truck accidents
Any driver whose eyes and mind are not totally focused on the road is at increased risk of being involved in an accident. While truckers can cause accidents in the same way that other drivers can, the size and shape of their vehicles often leads to particular types of wrecks, including:
- Rollover accidents. Because of their high center of gravity, big rigs and other trucks are more likely to tip over. This type of accident often occurs when a truck driver attempts to quickly swerve or change lanes, actions that could result from a trucker looking up from a phone to see a car in front of them.
- Jackknife accidents. The pins that connect trailers to the trucks that pull them allow those trailers to rotate. When a semi stops short, the momentum of a trailer may cause that trailer to rotate around this point, with the back of the trailer moving forward. When this happens, both parts of the tractor-trailer become immobilized, suddenly blocking the roadway.
- Override and underride. Trucks sit higher off the ground than most vehicles, so when a truck rear-ends another vehicle, the truck may ride right over the bumper of the other vehicle and collide directly with the passenger cabin. When a truck stops short or changes lanes without notice, a car can become trapped underneath, or the passenger cabin can collide directly into the trailer.
Even a driver using a hands-free device is not able to pay full attention to the road and their surroundings.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, consult an Atlanta tractor-trailer wreck attorney with experience at McMenamy Law LLC.