As we all know, distracted driving is a major problem in the Houston area. Distracted driving, whether by a soccer mom driving her kids to a game or by the driver of a tractor-trailer rig, occurs when a driver fails to devote his or her full attention to the traffic conditions around them. The result of distracted driving can be an accident that is later found to have been avoidable had the driver been more aware of road and traffic conditions. If the distracted driver happens to be driving a tractor-trailer rig that weighs close to 80,000 pounds, the results could be a disaster.
Commercial drivers must comply with two sets of distracted driving laws: the state and local laws that apply to wherever he or she happens to be at the time as well as the regulations set down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which are in force every time a commercial driver pulls onto the highway.
Regulations put forth by the FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) specifically prohibit a commercial driver from:
“texting,” which the agency defines as “… manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device…”
reaching for, dialing, or using a mobile phone that requires pressing more than one button to dial or answer
using any electronic device, other than those used to communicate with a company dispatcher, that cannot be operated with a single hand while the truck is in motion
These regulations apply to every commercial driver. This means that interstate truckers, bus drivers, and drivers that are transporting hazardous materials must obey these regulations or run the risk of losing their commercial driving privileges.
Distracted Driving By Commercial Drivers Is a Serious Problem
The actual number of commercial trucking accidents that are due to distracted driving is difficult to accurately determine simply because most states and federal agencies did not begin to keep track of accidents that were the result of distracted driving until just a few years ago. Although agencies such as the National Safety Council and the National Transportation Safety Board will admit that their statistics are probably incomplete, estimates of the number of fatalities that are the result of distracted driving by commercial drivers range from as few as 50 to as many as 300 per year.
If a commercial driver is found to have caused an accident, and if distracted driving contributed to that accident, the driver and his employer can be held to be responsible for that accident and ordered to pay damages to the injured parties by a court. Our Houston truck accident attorney is prepared to fight to secure fair compensation for your injuries.
Why You Need a Houston Distracted Truck Driving Attorney
Accidents due to distracted driving by commercial drivers were hard to prove in the past simply because all the driver had to do was lie about whether or not he was using a cell phone. This tactic will no longer work because practically all electronic communication devices will now automatically record the time a call was made or received, the origin or destination of the call or text message, and even the location of the device by GPS.
If you have been involved in a Houston-area truck accident involving an 18-wheeler or a commercial delivery truck, and you think that the driver might have been distracted while driving, the truck accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm can help you learn if your accident could have been prevented. Our truck and car accident attorney in Houston will be able to tell you if your accident may have been due to a distracted driving incident and if that accident could result in a claim against the driver, his employer, or both. Even if there is an eyewitness that alleges you were at fault for the collision, reach out to our team for assistance. We may be able to help.
If you feel that you were injured in a truck accident that was caused by a distracted driver, contact the truck accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm today at (800) 349-0000 to arrange for your free, no-obligation, case evaluation.