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When commercial truckers drive distracted, everyone loses

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2018 | Firm News

Certain factors can make your daily commute more dangerous. Most people like to mentally set aside the risk associated with driving a vehicle. However, every time you end up on the road, you face the potential risk of a crash that could leave you injured or even dead.

Circumstances have different amounts of risk that drivers must face. One of the biggest risks on the road these days, other than drunk driving, is distraction. Smartphone technology has made it easier than ever for people to find something beside the task at hand to focus on. You face extra risk whenever you share the road with a distracted driver. When the person driving distracted is in control of a commercial truck, you could end up in a severe collision.

Commercial trucks pose a greater risk to the average driver

Obviously, any collision is undesirable when you’re driving a motor vehicle. Even at low speeds, a crash can mean major injuries and property damage. When there is a large discrepancy in the weight and size of the vehicles involved in the crash, the smaller vehicle typically carries the brunt of the risk.

Every crash involving a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle tends to be more dangerous for the passenger vehicle than the large truck. Commercial trucks are much heavier and larger than passenger vehicles. It can be more difficult to turn them, and they often require more space to stop.

Combine that with the large gaps under the trailer of the truck, and you have a very dangerous environment for smaller motor vehicles. This is especially true when the commercial driver is distracted.

Federal regulations prohibit texting while driving a commercial vehicle

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has many rules and regulations in place. The aim of these rules is to protect the public from the risk that results from sharing the road with large commercial vehicles.

One such rule prohibits the act of texting in any form while driving a commercial vehicle. The definition of texting here includes sending emails, typing a web address, any form of instant messaging or SMS messaging, and even pushing more than one button to initiate a phone call.

Truckers may feel tempted to text at the wheel

Unfortunately, the work environment of the average truck driver may inspire them to violate these regulations. They spend long hours on the road, separated from their friends and family. That can be very isolating and lonely. In order to counteract that loneliness, they may reach out to loved ones while at the wheel. When that happens, other drivers can end up at increased risk of a potentially fatal crash.

Thankfully, modern technology makes it easier for law enforcement to verify if somebody sent a text while driving. Even if the truck driver deletes a text, a warrant served to the cellphone provider can verify any messages that the driver deleted.

For those impacted by a negligent truck driver, the costs are often extraordinary. Severe injuries and catastrophic property damage can result. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or the company that employed the driver may be the best option for recouping some of the losses associated with a commercial truck accident.