Truck Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
The latest distracted driving statistics are daunting. In 2017, 3,166 people were killed in vehicle crashes where distracted driving was a factor. But any potential harm due to distracted driving increases exponentially when the distracted driver is behind the wheel of a truck. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded and if they are involved in a crash (particularly ones at highway speeds), the results can be devastating.
Because truck accidents can cause severe or fatal injuries and extensive property damage, more attention has been paid to the epidemic of distracted driving on the part of commercial truck drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) prohibits the use of handheld devices while driving a semi-truck. The FMCSA outlawed texting while driving in 2010 and banned the use of cell phones for interstate truck drivers, bus drivers, and HAZMAT truck drivers in 2012. Drivers are prohibited from holding or even reaching for their phones while in motion, all in the name of decreasing distracted driving by these large and dangerous vehicles.
It is important for truckers to pull over and get out of the traffic lane before making or taking a call, no matter how important. Statistics show that truck drivers who are texting or talking on a cell phone are 23.2 times more likely to have an accident. And while truckers are allowed to use hands-free equipment, recent research has revealed that hands-free use of a cell phone is just as dangerous as using your hands.
Of course, the use of electronic devices is not the only type of distracted driving that can lead to accidents. Eating and drinking, talking to a passenger, checking a GPS navigation system, daydreaming, and other activities also qualify as distracted driving and can easily lead to an unexpected and traumatic accident.
The only thing a truck driver needs to do is to focus on the road and the task of operating their vehicle. Because of the significant size and weight of the vehicles they operate, truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving safely. It is vital for them to focus on driving and nothing else, to ensure that they’re not putting themselves and others at risk of severe and possibly fatal harm.
If you have been hurt in a truck accident and you suspect the driver was distracted, call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers right away. We will work with you to file a claim against the driver and, the trucking company, and any other stakeholder. We can help you get the compensation you need to pay your bills, support yourself and your loved ones, and put the accident behind you. Call us today at 203-397-1283 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.