How Does Texting and Driving Affect Truck Accidents?
Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2022 at 4:08 pm
Many people know how dangerous it can be to text while driving. However, a significant amount of drivers do it anyway. Texting is one of the most common types of distracted driving. It can lead to severe injuries, destructive property damage, and even death. If someone decides to look down at their cell phone to read or send a text, they can’t notice what’s happening in front of them. This lack of attention prevents motorists from responding to upcoming hazardous conditions appropriately.
Truck drivers commonly become distracted during their many hours on the road. Unfortunately, accidents between commercial trucks and passenger cars are often catastrophic. Even if the trucker isn’t speeding, the impact of the collision can cause serious injuries to the smaller vehicle occupants.
Texting and Driving Regulations for Commercial Drivers
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle is prohibited from using a hand-held mobile device. The operation of a commercial vehicle also includes being stationary with the truck running because of traffic, a traffic control device, or another brief delay. The only exception to this federal law is if the truck driver communicates with law enforcement or another emergency service.
Why Texting and Driving Causes Accidents
All commercial truck drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license. Driving a large truck takes significant skill and knowledge. Since a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, the driver must understand how to maneuver it safely around other vehicles and know what to do when encountering hazardous conditions.
Texting and driving increases the risk of an accident. Even if a truck driver looks down at their phone for a few seconds, it’s enough time for the scenery in front of them to change. If the trucker isn’t focused on the road ahead, they may not notice if someone swerves into their lane or large debris gets in their way.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equates texting while driving as driving with your eyes closed. A vehicle can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes for the driver to read or send a text message.
Truck Accidents Often Lead to Severe Injuries
When a large truck and small car collide, the occupants in the smaller vehicle tend to suffer more serious physical harm. The most common injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb or amputation injury
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Deep cuts and burns
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Spinal cord damage
Typically, truck accident victims require emergency medical care and ongoing treatment. Some never fully recover and end up with a disabling condition. The expenses associated with a permanent injury can cause financial struggles and even lead to debt.
Proving Fault After a Truck Accident
You can pursue compensation from the negligent truck driver following an accident. However, you must prove they were texting while driving. It can be challenging to obtain evidence to show the trucker should be held liable for your injuries.
It’s critical to hire an experienced truck accident attorney and seek medical treatment immediately after the crash. While you’re attending your doctor’s appointments, your lawyer can use the resources at their disposal to gather the evidence necessary to prove the truck driver was at fault.
Some of the evidence might include:
- Eyewitness statements – If the occupants of another car saw the truck driver texting and driving, they could provide a statement to the investigating officer at the accident scene or the insurance company handling your claim. Witnesses could even testify in court if you have to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.
- Cell phone records – The trucker’s cell phone records could show they sent or received a text while operating their truck. This can help prove they became distracted and weren’t paying attention to the road.
- Event data recorder – An event data recorder records and stores information in the moments before, during, and after an accident. It can provide useful details about the truck driver’s actions and the truck’s movements. For example, if the data shows the truck driver didn’t apply their brakes to try to avoid a collision, it could indicate they weren’t focused on the road ahead.
- Traffic camera footage – Footage from a nearby traffic camera might have recorded the trucker texting behind the wheel. This evidence could help to prove the truck driver failed to operate their truck with care.
Contact Tiemann Law Firm
Tiemann Law Firm has fought on behalf of truck accident victims for over 20 years. You can depend on us to advocate for your rights and fight to hold the truck driver liable for their reckless behavior. We will pursue the maximum compensation possible and work hard to try to reach your desired outcome.
Call us at (916) 999-9000 right now for your free consultation if your accident and injuries occurred because of a truck driver texting while behind the wheel.