In addition to the laws of California, federal regulations prohibit many truck drivers who travel through the Los Angeles area, specifically those who also travel to other states as part of their business, from using their cell phones while driving.
The ban on cell phones is very broad. In addition to being prohibited from texting, drivers also may not talk on a cell phone at all unless it is equipped with a hands-free device. Moreover, the device must allow drivers to make a call with one button, so even if a driver has a hands-free device, if he or she has to punch in a serious of buttons to make a call, that device is not permitted.
The safety reasons for enacting this federal regulation, which applies to those drivers and transportation companies which haul between California and other states, may seem pretty obvious. To give some visual imagery, though, a truck will go the distance of a football field in the amount of time it takes a driver to take his or her concentration off of the road long enough to make a phone call or send a text message. This is more than enough time for serious truck accidents to occur.
Since this is a federal regulation, the normal penalty for violations is either a fine or, in extreme cases, a ban on a trucking company’s authority to transport goods in interstate commerce. However, standing alone, the regulations do not mean the victims of a distracted trucker get compensation.
However, the good news is that if a victim can prove that a driver was violating federal rules prohibiting cell phone use at the time of an accident, he or she can use that information to make it easier to get compensation awarded to them.