State Law and Federal Regulations For Texting While Driving Causing a Trucking Accident in New York
Texting while driving is just dangerous and potentially deadly. We all know this. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just reinforces this with statistics that almost 3,000 Americans die each year due to texting while driving accidents. While texting while driving is incredibly dangerous for any motor vehicle, texting while driving a commercial vehicle like a big rig, 18 wheeler, tankers, box truck, or other large semi tractor trailer is downright deadly. A truck driver texting while driving and turn a commercial vehicle into an unguided missile. Unfortunately, it is common for texting while driving and causing a trucking accident in New York to cause serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person.
Here at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C., we know just how deadly texting while driving can be. We have dedicated our law firm to helping protect the rights of victims and their families who have been injured due to the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. When that is a truck driver who was texting while driving and causing a trucking accident in New York, our Queens trucking accident lawyers can help fight back to protect your rights under New York law and Federal Regulations.
New York Law Prohibits Texting While Driving
It was not too long ago that the Legislature passed a new Vehicle and Traffic Law which prohibited texting while driving. Under Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1225-d, “no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.” A portable electronic device includes a cell phone. The term “using” includes any “data transmission” which includes texting, emails, social media, tweeting, or any similar change of information.
If a truck driver violates this section of law and causes a trucking accident in New York, the doctrine of negligence per se allows a victim to automatically establish liability against the truck driver and the trucking company if certain elements are met. This elements are 1) that the Vehicle and Traffic Law was violated, 2) such violated harmed a person who was supposed to be protected by the Vehicle and Traffic Law that was violated, and 3) the harm that was caused was the type of harm that was supposed to be prevented by the Vehicle and Traffic Law. This is not always difficult to establish and should be handled by an experienced Queens trucking accident lawyer.
Federal Regulations Prohibit Texting While Driving
The trucking business is an interstate business. This means that it traveled between different states throughout the country. This can make is difficult for truck drivers and trucking companies who have to constantly comply with different state laws or regulations. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations which apply to every commercial vehicle, company, or driver no matter what state they are from, in, or going to. These regulations are stricter than most state laws and they set the minimum requirements. For example, New York has a BAC of .08 as the legal limit, but the FMCSA regulations require a BAC of 0.0—now that is strict!
Relating to texting while driving, the FMCSA regulation of 49 CFR s 392.80 outright prohibits texting while driving. It also prohibits a trucking company from allowing any truck driver from texting while driving, or otherwise requiring a truck driver to text while driving. This even prohibits texting while driving while stopped at a stop sign or red light, which is permitted under New York law if the vehicle is not in motion.
But unlike New York law, the doctrine of negligence per se for a violation of a regulation is only evidence of negligence, not automatic liability. This means that a motorist still must prove negligence for a trucking accident in New York caused by texting.
Call our Queens Trucking Accident Lawyers for Help With Your Case
If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, when a truck driver texting while driving and causing a trucking accident in New York, call our experienced Queens trucking accident lawyers to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation under the law. We offer FREE consultations and it does not cost any money for us to begin representing you because we only get paid after we recover compensation for you in a settlement or court award. Learn more how our legal team can fight for your rights by calling 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.