New Mexico- Distracted driving has always been an issue for motorists, but imagine if that motorist is in control of a fully-loaded tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. The consequences can be devastating if that truck is involved in collision.

Truck drivers spend hours in the cab of their large rigs and so it’s no surprise that they may look for something to help them pass the time. They eat, they talk on their cell phones and must stay in contact with their trucking company and sometimes they do these things while they are behind the wheel.

The federal government bans all truck drivers and bus drivers from texting while driving. If they disobey this rule they face fines up to $2, 7500 and possible criminal charges. If a truck driver has two or three citations for texting while driving they can have their commercial driver’s license suspended or lose it. Trucking companies, who allow their drivers to text behind the wheel, face fines up to $11,000.

Distracted Driver Statistics

A study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showed that a driver who texts behind the wheel takes their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. Any vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour can travel far in that 4.6 seconds and may not notice that traffic has stopped in front of them or that someone is making a turn.

Other FMCSA findings show:

  • Truckers are 5.9 times more likely to cause an accident when they dial a cell phone.
  • Truckers are 6.7 times more likely to cause a truck accident when they reach for a cell phone.
  • Truckers are 8.9 times more likely to cause an accident when they use a dispatch device.
  • Truckers are 7 times more likely to cause an accident when they look at a map.

When a large commercial truck is involved in an accident, the driver or occupants are at a higher risk of suffering serious injury or death. Data from the American Truck Association shows that one percent of all truck accidents result in a fatality, that is double the fatality rate of .05 percent for passenger vehicles.

If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted commercial truck or tractor-trailer driver, you need the help of a New Mexico truck accident attorney. A truck accident attorney has special investigative skills that allow them to determine who the at-fault parties are and what amount of compensation the victim needs and deserves.

A truck accident attorney understands the nature of an accident victim’s injuries and the future consequences of a particular injury. They won’t let their clients be undersold by the trucking company or their insurers. Because truck accident attorneys are savvy negotiators they will advise on what is an acceptable settlement from an insurance company, and are willing to go to court if the settlement is not acceptable. Before you speak to an insurance company or accept a settlement offer contact a tractor trailer accident attorney in your area.