In a St. Louis federal court, an $18 million verdict was returned against a trucking company and its driver for a truck accident which occurred when the driver reached for his cell phone while coming up on a line of cars which were stopped in traffic. The crash resulted in injuries to the victim which left him completely unable to walk or talk and in need of constant care in a nursing home.Distracted driving, in particular cell phone usage, is a cause of a large (and ever increasing) number of serious motor vehicle accidents. Many studies have established that cell phone usage has nearly the same deleterious effects on driving abilities as being intoxicated. Federal regulations impose many requirements which are intended to improve the safe driving performance of truck drivers. This is necessary in light of the great weight and power of tractor trailers. Despite the well-known adverse effects of cell phone usage on safe driving many trucking companies not only permit drivers to use them while behind the wheel, but require drivers to have them to communicate with the dispatch.These practices need rethinking in light of accidents such as this.