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18 Wheeler Cell Phone Laws: What to Know


Because of their size, 18 wheelers have a unique capacity to cause severe injuries and even death on American highways. The likelihood of a catastrophic crash is drastically increased by the use of a cell phone by an 18 wheeler driver. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) has passed 18 wheeler cell phone laws, stringent rules against distracted driving by interstate truck drivers, including those driving their tractor trailers through North Carolina. For a quick reference, check out this fact sheet published by the FMCSA in May, 2012.

Maginnis Law has experience handling personal injury matters involving 18 wheelers. We recently resolved a case for a client who had stopped to assist another vehicle who appeared to be in danger when his vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer. Our firm was also recently retained to represent an out-of-state couple whose vehicle was struck by a negligent truck driver.

The 18 wheeler cell phone laws created by the Motor Carrier Safety Administration still permit the receipt of mobile phone calls by truckers and the use of a phone under certain conditions. That is, not all cell phone use is banned. What the rules do not allow is: (1) the handheld use of a cellphone while driving, (2) the manual dialing of a phone number that requires the use of more than one button, or (3) reaching for the mobile phone in a manner that moves the truck driver out of a normal seated position. Violations of these rules can result in individual tractor trailer drivers being disqualified from interstate trucking.

Truck drivers are allowed to use voice activated calling and earpiece systems. The key to being in compliance for the truck drivers is that the system they use must  essentially only require that they have to click a single button to operate the cell phone.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of a distracted tractor trailer driver using a cell phone in North Carolina, the trucking accident attorneys of Maginnis Howard may be able to assist.  We are well versed in the 18 wheeler cell phone laws that may assist you with your claim. Our lawyers office free consultation from our offices here in Raleigh. We will also travel to meet with you if needed. Most importantly, we offer a contingency fee arrangement for all North Carolina tractor trailer injury cases. To speak with our lead personal injury attorney Shawn Howard, call 919-526-0450. You can also submit details regarding your case by visiting our contact page.