Distracted driving has become the leading cause of vehicle accidents across the country. Unfortunately, it is a big problem within the trucking industry as well. Given the large size and heavy weight of semi-trucks and tractor trailers, these accidents often end in multiple fatalities. Because of the excess damage that can occur, it is essential for truck drivers to be focused at all times on the roadways and on distraction-free driving behaviors.
Too Many Tragic Accidents
All over the internet, there are stories of tragic deaths caused by truck drivers who are texting, looking at photographs, or dialing and talking on cell phones. Just reading the stories of those that lost loved ones in accidents that could have been avoided is devastating. There are numerous examples:
A woman loses her parents when a texting truck driver slams into their car…
A police officer dies at the hands of a truck driver looking at pictures on his phone…
An elderly couple visits their granddaughter for the first time, and is killed hours later by a semi-truck who crosses over the median while distracted by his phone…
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) reports that 5,474 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2009. This accounts for 16 percent of all distraction-related traffic accident fatalities. This is an epidemic that is causing pain, suffering, and loss of life for many victims.
Truck Drivers Banned from Cell Phone Use
In 2012, the United States Department of Transportation placed a ban on the use of hand-held cell phone devices by all interstate truck and bus drivers. Unfortunately, many do not take the ban seriously and decide to use their cellular devices. This ban, intended to save lives, doesn’t seem to be making the intended impact.
Truck drivers who are violating the ban are taking a gamble on losing their commercial driver’s licenses, or causing the companies they work for to be penalized with fines up to $11,000. Still, they seem to be taking their chances.
According to Anne S. Ferro of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA),
“It’s just too dangerous for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle. Drivers must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and head in the game when operating on our roads. Lives are at stake.”
The FMCSA also points out that a commercial driver who is merely reaching for his or her phone while operating a large truck is three times more likely to be involved in a serious accident. If he decides to dial a number on the phone, he is six times more likely to cause an accident.
If you are Hit by a Distracted Truck Driver
Until fines become steeper and consequences are more serious for distracted truck drivers, horrific accidents will continue to occur. If you become injured by a distracted truck driver, or you lose a loved one due to the negligence of a distracted truck driver, you must first obtain the medical care that you need.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in Texas, our experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to help right away. Contact us online, or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.We help personal injury clients throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington as well as all areas of Texas.