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Illegal In Virginia (And Every Other State): Truckers Texting On Cell Phones

Virginia State Police have confiscated the cell phone of a milk truck operator after a fatal big rig accident on Interstate 81 left one student driver dead and others seriously injured. The warrant for the mobile device suggests that authorities suspect that the trucker may have been using his mobile device to text or browse the internet in the moments before colliding with the sedan.

While a bill that would have made talking on the cell phone illegal in Virginia failed this year, texting while driving, reading emails while driving, and browsing the internet while driving are illegal for all drivers across the state. In addition, a federal law bans commercial truck drivers from using mobile devices to text or web surf while behind the wheel. This law went into effect in 2010 after a Virginia Tech study revealed that truck drivers were significantly more likely to cause accidents while texting and driving. Today, truckers who text while driving can face thousands of dollars in fines, up to $2,750, as well as possible civil and criminal charges.

Why is texting so dangerous for commercial drivers? Texting takes a driver’s eyes off of the road, a driver’s mind off of what they are doing, and one hand off of the wheel. Any one of these three distractions is dangerous, and all three can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Especially for truckers, who drive heavier vehicles with larger blind spots, texting truckers poise a threat to everyone on the road.

Traffic safety experts believe that over 6,000 people died as a result of distracted driving, such as text messaging, each year.

Have you been injured in a Virginia truck accident that may have involved distracted driving or texting while driving? Speak with a Virginia Beach tractor-trailer accident attorney today and make certain your crash is properly investigated.