Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents. Distracted driving includes anything that would take the truck driver’s attention away from the road, but the most common form of distracted driving is texting while driving. The dangers of texting while driving were covered in a 2009 report that was published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) titled Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations.
FMCSA Distracted Driving Report
The report found that texting while driving diverted the truck driver’s attention for an average of five seconds. While that may not sound like a lot of time, consider this: a truck traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover 100 yards in five seconds. That means for the length of a football field, the truck driver is essentially blindfolded. The report also found that drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Is Texting While Driving Legal?
As of 2015, all but six states have a ban for all drivers on texting while driving. However, truck drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers must follow stricter regulations. Based on the findings in the 2009 FMCSA report, the Department of Transportation (DOT) made it illegal for truck drivers to text while driving regardless of whether the state has instituted a ban on the practice. Truck drivers who are caught texting while driving can face penalties of up to $2,750 and the trucking company can be fined up to $11,000.
Truck Accidents Caused By Texting While Driving
In addition to fines for texting and driving, truck drivers can be held liable for any accident they may cause while texting from behind the wheel. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights. While it can be difficult to prove that the driver was texting prior to causing the accident, a good truck accident attorney can have a team of investigators open an investigation into the cause of the accident. In some instances, it may be possible to pull the driver’s cell phone records to view timestamps of when text messages were sent and received.
Contact the truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation.