Because of the massive size of semi-trucks compared to passenger vehicles, being in a truck accident can cause serious injuries and harm to victims. Laws that prohibit truckers from driving while distracted as designed to keep the public safe and it is helpful for truck accident victims to be familiar with them, as well as the legal protections available when they have been injured by a negligent truck driver.
Truck drivers are prohibited from driving while distracted
Prohibitions against truck drivers driving while distracted include:
- No texting while driving – truck drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. This includes using a short message service, instant messaging, accessing webpages, emailing or using more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication.
- Hands-free only cell phone use – truck drivers are prohibited from using any mobile phone that is not hands free.
The dangers of truck driver distraction
Distracted driving is always dangerous but can be especially so when a truck driver is driving distracted while behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound load. The average time texting drivers remove their eyes from the roadway is 4.6 seconds which, while traveling at 55 miles per hour, is equivalent to traveling the length or a football field without looking. Research also shows that truck drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event than truck drivers who do not text while driving. Safety-critical events include crashes, near-crashes or when the driver deviates from their lane of travel.
Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries for victims which can be costly physically, financially and emotionally. Depending on who is to blame, truck drivers and trucking companies may be liable to compensate the victim for their damages and a personal injury claim for damages can help victims pursue the help they need for the injuries and harm they have suffered.