Most people with a license understand that there's some risk inherent in the process of driving a motor vehicle. Every time you get in a vehicle, whether as a driver or a passenger, there's the potential for something to happen. Your vehicle could have mechanical issues that result in loss of control. Inclement weather could make the roads unsafe. You could also cross paths with someone who isn't making safety on the road a priority.
Unsafe drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated, exhausted or distracted put everyone else on the road at risk. Their driving practices dramatically increase the risk of a crash for them and everyone else on the road with them. When those unsafe drivers are in charge of massive commercial vehicles, the end result could be tragic.
Commercial trucks are bigger and heavier than other vehicles
One of the biggest differences between the typical passenger vehicle and a commercial truck is that commercial vehicles are quite larger than passenger vehicles. They can be twice the height and three times (or more) longer than passenger vehicles nearby on the road. That size can make handling them more difficult.
It takes longer for a commercial truck to come to a complete stop. That increases the distance and time for a full stop, making it more likely for a commercial driver to rear-end smaller vehicles. Commercial trucks also make much wider turns, due to the way trailers get attached to the cab portion of the vehicle. There's potential for a crash at any intersection where a turn is necessary.
Finally, there are huge blind spots that could impact a commercial driver's ability to see other vehicles. Vehicles on either side of a truck, as well as those that are close to the front or rear of the truck, may not be visible to the commercial driver.
Distraction and impairment can factor into commercial crashes
In general, commercial drivers get held to a higher standard than other drivers on the road. This is due, in part, to the potential for their massive trucks to cause major property damage, catastrophic injuries and even death. However, just like with drivers in smaller passenger vehicles, truck drivers often choose to ignore the law for their own convenience or comfort.
Each state, including Mississippi, establishes a lower acceptable blood alcohol content (BAC) for commercial drivers. There are also federal regulations about safety, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA has a ban in place on any kind of manual data entry in a smart device or phone while operating a commercial vehicle.
If you believe that the truck driver who caused your crash was using a phone at the time of the accident, that could help you in the search for compensation. Tell the law enforcement that responds to the crash about your suspicions. It will help determine the cause of the crash, as well as responsibility for it.