Texting-Related Truck Accidents
Houston Truck Accident Attorney
Were you injured in a truck accident that involved a truck driver who was texting behind the wheel? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the driver or trucking company for the injuries you experienced. A Houston truck accident attorney at Stern Law Group can talk to you about what occurred to offer insight regarding your options in this important matter.
Because every case is different, we will need to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whether texting was the cause and how to prove this in negotiations or courtroom litigation.
Across the United States, commercial drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Although Texas does not currently have a statewide ban on texting for all drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented a rule in November 2011 banning texting while driving for all commercial driver's license holders across the country. As such, this federal law applies to all truck drivers in Texas, regardless of the fact that state law is lacking in this regard.
Our legal team is committed to holding truck drivers and motor carriers responsible for violations of trucking regulations and all types of negligence or wrongdoing. By involving investigators, professionals in accident reconstruction, medicine, economics and other pertinent fields, we can work to evaluate the cause of our clients' accidents and then pursue financial compensation that will help them start to rebuild their lives. Texting-related truck accidents are an important focus of our firm, for good reason.
Why Texting & Driving Is Dangerous
Perhaps we should take a look at some of the potential consequences of a truck driver who texts while driving. According to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) study, texting takes a driver's visual attention from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If a big rig is traveling 55 miles per hour and a driver takes these 4.6 seconds to check or compose a text message, the vehicle may travel the entire length of a football field without the driver seeing the road in front of him/her. This paints a frighteningly real picture of the true danger posed by texting while driving.
While it is dangerous for any driver to text while behind the wheel, truck drivers may pose a particularly serious hazard. The vehicles commercial drivers operate are large and heavy, weighing up to 80,000 pounds or even more with special permits. They are difficult to maneuver even when a properly trained and experienced driver is paying full attention to the task at hand. When you consider that texting takes away visual attention (eyes off the road), manual attention (one or both hands off the wheel) and cognitive attention (mental awareness off driving), it is plain to see why a truck driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle will be significantly compromised.
According to another VTTI study, a driver who texts while driving is about 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver who is not distracted. If a truck driver texts while driving, he or she may:
- Unintentionally veer from his or her lane;
- Fail to see a traffic light that has changed from green to yellow or yellow to red;
- Not see that a vehicle has changed lanes in front of the truck;
- Fail to see a child or pedestrian who has legally stepped out into a crosswalk;
- Not see that traffic has slowed or stopped ahead, until it is too late to stop in time; or
- Fail to notice a stop sign or other traffic sign, such as notice of a sharp turn.
Those are just a few examples of the potential consequences of a trucker who texts while driving. There are countless other scenarios that may cause serious collisions, leaving others with catastrophic injuries.