Houston, TX-Phones, food, music players are just a fraction of the things motorists allowed themselves to be distracted by when they should be paying attention to the road. It’s never safe to drive distracted, but it is particularly unsafe if the vehicle you’re driving weighs up to 80,000 lbs. When any accident, whether the cause is fatigue, distraction or a mechanical failure, involves a large commercial truck, the results can be disastrous, costing the victims their health or their lives.
A truck accident, which occurred September 2014, demonstrates the dire consequences distracted driving behind a big rig can have for the victim and the truck driver. Four members of a North Texas Community College softball team were killed and 12 others were injured when the truck driver crossed the center line of a 1-35 in Oklahoma and collided with their bus head-on.
The tractor-trailer driver later told police that he was distracted and was reaching for something in the cab of his truck. Evidence at the scene showed that the driver did not even attempt to brake prior to striking the bus. Bloomberg reported that police found a marijuana pipe and a baggie of prescription drugs in the cab.
This accident is just one of many unfortunate truck accidents that occur in the U.S. every year. If you have been injured in an accident with a distracted tractor-trailer driver, you are urge to speak to a truck accident attorney as soon as you are able.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration a distracted truck driver is:
- 9 times more likely to cause an accident when they dial a cell phone.
- 7 times more likely to cause a truck accident when they reach for a cell phone.
- 9 times more likely to cause an accident when they use a dispatch device.
- 7 times more likely to cause an accident when they look at a map.
Under federal government regulations, it is illegal for all truck drivers and bus drivers to texting while driving. Disobey this rule and drivers face fines up to $2,750 and a possible traffic citation. Two or three citations for texting while driving and truck driver will have their commercial driver’s license suspended or, in worst cases, revoked. Trucking companies, who allow their drivers to text behind the wheel, face fines up to $11,000.
In 2013, fatal truck accidents increased slightly as they have each year as the economy improves. In that year, 3,964 people were killed in truck accidents. Those who survive are left with the serious and costly injuries.
A Houston truck accident attorney understands the nature of a victim’s injuries and what the future consequences their injuries can entail. A truck accident attorney won’t let their clients be undersold by trucker, the trucking company or their insurers. Truck accident attorneys are savvy negotiators and will advise the accident victims to what is an acceptable settlement that covers your future and past expenses.