The dangers of distracted driving are well known. Whether it is texting while driving, adjusting the radio, or reading, any form of driver distraction can spell disaster. When a distracted driver is behind the wheel of a massive commercial vehicle that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, these risks are intensified.
As truck accidents can produce horrific damages and because they pose increased risks of victims suffering injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and states throughout the country place extra regulations on truck drivers and trucking companies. Regulations to prevent distracted driving are crucial to protecting public safety. These include:
Carriers that Transport Hazardous Materials
The FMCSA enforces rules to regulate the interstate transportation of hazardous materials. Drivers of these vehicles are strictly prohibited from texting and from using mobile phones while behind the wheel. Violations can result in fines and / or disqualifications, which can have a negative impact on drivers' commercial licenses.
Bans on Text Messaging
Drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from texting while driving. This includes manually entering a text message or reading a text message.
Restrictions on Mobile Phone Use
Interstate truck drivers are prohibited from reaching for or holding mobile phones for voice communication. They are also prohibited from pressing multiple buttons. This means that drivers may only use mobile phones by operating a hands-free phone that is located in close proximity.
These distracted driving regulations are essential to reducing risks of preventable accidents. According to the FMCSA, studies have found that driver distraction increases risks of safety-critical events – including crashes, near crashes, and lane deviations – by as much as 23.2 times. For commercial vehicle drivers who dial mobile phones while driving, the risks of being involved in a safety-critical event increases by six times. For these precise reasons, truck drivers are closely monitored.
If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a truck accident, working with an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer is crucial to the outcome of your case. Attorney John Daspit is a former insurance defense lawyer who knows how insurance and trucking companies respond to claims. He uses this insight and extensive resources to investigate accidents, determine the underlying cause, and prove liability.
For more information about your specific case and how The Daspit Law Firm can fight to hold a distracted truck driver liable for your damages, fill out a free case evaluation form or call (713) 364-0915.
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