Many drivers believe they’re capable of sending a quick text while maintaining enough attention on the road. However, driving can be unpredictable. Even a glance away can end in disaster.
The severity of these disasters only increases when they involve a truck. When truck drivers text and drive, the odds of accidents increase dramatically. Contact a Virginia truck accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a texting and driving truck accident.
Yes, it is Illegal for Truck Drivers to Text and Drive in Virginia
According to Virginia law, it is illegal for anyone, including truck drivers, to text and drive. Truck drivers are often on the road for hours at a stretch. Understandably, they may need to communicate with an employer or other parties during that time. However, to stay within the law, a truck driver must pull over if he or she needs to send a text.
In 2021, Virginia added Virginia Code § 46.2-1078.1 to their distracted driving laws, prohibiting drivers from texting and driving. Virginia law specifically prohibits:
- Sending a text while driving
- Reading a text while driving
- Sending an email while driving
Exceptions to the Rule: When Is It Okay to Text?
Truck drivers may read or send a text message when their truck is lawfully parked or stopped. Their truck must be 100% stopped before they pick up their phone. This law makes it clear that truck drivers can text when they park, but what about red lights and stop signs?
This is a gray area, and the answer may vary depending on the law enforcement officer who witnesses it. If a truck driver texting while at a red light was the cause of your truck accident injuries, contact a Virginia truck accident attorney to determine your options.
Additionally, truck drivers can legally use their phones for directions or music while driving. This can also make it difficult to prove they were texting before the accident, as they can argue they were checking their GPS instead. Again, contact a truck accident law firm if this sounds like your case.
Penalties Truck Drivers Face for Texting and Driving in Virginia
Penalties for texting and driving in Virginia start at $125 for a first offense. For each offense after that, the truck driver must pay $250. Many truck companies require their drivers to cover their own tickets, while others may handle the fees for drivers.
If the texting and driving incident doesn’t cause an accident, the driver will not have to appear in court. As long as the driver or company pays the fine, that will be the end of the process.
However, if the driver’s texting and driving leads to an accident, they could face a truck accident lawsuit. Contact an attorney to seek truck accident compensation for a texting and driving accident.
How an Attorney Will Help You
If a truck driver was texting and driving before your accident, you can seek compensation for your injuries. Evidence of the texting and driving incident can serve as proof of liability.
Similarly, if the truck driver has a record of texting and driving or other distracted driving, we can use that to argue liability. After collecting evidence, an attorney will guide you through the claims process.
Was a Truck Driver Texting Before Your Accident? Contact Skilled Truck Accident Attorneys
Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C., helps truck accident victims seek compensation for their injuries. With two decades of experience, our attorneys have won over $400 million in damages for our clients.
Contact 804-944-8439 today for a free consultation with a Virginia truck accident attorney.