Commercial motor vehicle drivers are under special restrictions and regulations as determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. CMV drivers are not allowed to text while they're behind the wheel. If you've ever seen a driver on the phone, you need to understand that texting means manually entering information letter by letter or number by number into the phone. Reading texts from an electronic device also counts as texting behind the wheel, even if the driver wasn't typing. However, the driver is allowed to use voice-activated technology or to press a button one time to initiate or terminate a voice communication.
The use of a mobile phone is also restricted for CMV drivers, which means they're not allowed to hold a mobile phone while they're conducting a call. The driver is not allowed to reach for a phone while driving, since that could take his or her eyes off the road.
Realistically, drivers who want to use a phone need to have a hands-free mobile device nearby. It must be either mounted to the dashboard or connected via Bluetooth in most cases. Sometimes, the phone is built into the dashboard, making it easy to activate with the push of a button.
Even though a driver hit you while using a mobile phone, not every situation with a mobile phone being used is illegal. For example, if the phone is within arm's reach and mounted to the dashboard when activated, it was probably being used safely and may not be a reason to hold the driver at fault. However, if the driver was distracted or driving negligently because of being on the call, then it may still be a problem that the court will have to address. The same is true if the driver had taken the phone off the dash or reached down to pick it up off the floor or a seat.
Distracted driving is a serious concern, and texting is a crime when it's in violation of government regulations. If you've been hurt or lost a loved one, then you may be entitled to compensation. Our website has more on this topic.