Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer David J. Pritchard Voices Concern that Illinois Cell Phone Ban Won’t Stop Distracted Driving Among Truckers

Pritchard, a partner with the law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., says statistics show the prevalence of cell phone use behind the wheel by truckers and calls for greater awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in commercial motor vehicles.

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Lawyer representing truck accident victims

David J. Pritchard

We continue to find that a high number of truck drivers and other commercial drivers are involved in accidents attributed to distracted driving that chiefly involves cell phone use.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) February 16, 2013

Chicago truck accident lawyer David J. Pritchard expressed reservations today about the effectiveness of a new Illinois law prohibiting commercial drivers from texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving.

“The law is certainly appropriate, but unfortunately, it’s a law that is likely too often ignored by those in the trucking industry,” said Pritchard, a partner with Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., a personal injury law firm in Chicago that represents truck accident victims throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

“We continue to find that a high number of truck drivers and other commercial drivers are involved in accidents attributed to distracted driving that chiefly involves cell phone use,” the attorney said.

The Illinois law (Public Act No. 97-0829) that bars commercial drivers from texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving was adopted in 2012 and took effect January 1.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations barring commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators from using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel have been in place since January 2012.

Pritchard cited a National Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) report about distracted driving from September 2012. According to the report, out of the 3,446 commercial truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010, five percent (188) were found to have been distracted at the point of the accident, including drivers who were on cell phones.

“No matter the law or regulation, we know there are people who will continue to pursue activities that are careless and potentially dangerous, including the drivers of 18-wheelers and other large trucks,” Pritchard said.

In addition to the new law, Pritchard said he hopes to see state officials and Illinois trucking firms mount campaigns to increase awareness among truck drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

He also said personal injury lawyers and others investigating truck accidents can hold distracted truck drivers accountable. Cell phone records and other evidence often reveal that a truck driver’s careless or reckless conduct contributed to an accident, he said.

“Truck accidents can be complex cases,” Pritchard said. “Anyone who has been hurt in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or another kind of commercial motor vehicle in Illinois should seek help from a law firm that has experience investigating these types of crashes.”

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Chicago personal injury firm with offices in Chicago (22 West Washington Street, Suite 1600, Chicago IL 60602) and Waukegan (218 North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085). In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $650 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 195 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. For more information, call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm’s online contact form.