The dangers of driving while using a hand-held mobile phone – and particularly, texting while driving – have recently been the subject of discussion in news media and legislatures across the country. Indiana truck accident lawyers see the results of this phenomenon all too often, magnified to the extreme when it involves large commercial trucks on our public roadways.
Statistics for 2010 from The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) note that distracted driving was second only to speeding as the most common driver-related factors in fatal accidents. The agency also quoted research stating that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash and unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for commercial motor vehicle drivers who text while driving than for those who do not.
The research also noted that texting drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph in a large commercial truck, this equates to traveling the approximate length of a football field without looking at the road! It’s no wonder these phone-related accidents can be so devastating for victims and their families, with physical, emotional and financial consequences that can last a lifetime — or even end a life.
The FMCSA eventually issued bans on using hand-held phones and texting — including prohibiting employers from requiring their use — while the truck is in motion. Indiana’s Commercial Drivers License Manual, as in most states, actually encourages commercial drivers to abstain from even using hands free mobile phones. While the penalties and fines for violating this can be relatively significant, it takes a civil lawsuit to get victims the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one is injured in a large truck accident, contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC right away to be sure your rights are addressed.