Distracted Driving Truck Accidents

Thanks to smartphones and various similar technologies, distracted driving has quickly become one of the most common—and one of the most dangerous—causes of trucking accidents nationwide. While anyone who drives distracted is at risk of causing serious harm to themselves and others around them, that risk increases exponentially when the distracted person is driving a multi-ton tractor-trailer loaded with multiple more tons of cargo.

After an interstate distracted driving truck accident, dealing with your immediate financial and personal losses might understandably take precedence over the prospect of filing a civil lawsuit against the trucker who hit you. However, pursuing a claim with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney’s assistance could be crucial to minimizing the impact that those losses have on you and your future.

How do Federal Trucking Laws Address Distracted Truck Driving?

Texting while driving has become a particularly common form of distracted driving in recent years and is one of the most comprehensively legislated traffic offenses at both the state and federal levels. To that end, regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibit all commercial truck drivers who participate in interstate commerce from reading, writing, or transmitting text messages at any time for any reason while they are operating a commercial vehicle.

Additionally, FMCSA rules state that truckers cannot use hand-held phones or mobile devices while driving unless they are making or answering a phone call with a single button press or with voice commands. On top of various fines, license restrictions, and potentially the permanent revocation of their commercial driver’s licenses, truck drivers who cause accidents while violating these rules may be subject to civil liability for any and all damages stemming from their distractedness.

Proving that a Truck Driver Was Distracted

Establishing fault for an interstate distracted driving truck accident caused by texting while driving can sometimes be as simple as referencing a police report showing a citation for such an offense given to the defendant trucker. However, there are numerous other ways that truck drivers can be distracted while on the road, from eating and drinking, to fatigue, to even reading a book or watching a movie, and police reports may not include any useful information about those kinds of distractions.

In situations like this, it is often crucial for people injured by distracted truck drivers on interstate roadways to collect and present other forms of evidence showing that distraction was the primary and direct cause of their injuries. Depending on the circumstances, relevant evidence might include:

  • Subpoenaed cell phone/text message records;
  • Debris from the accident scene, including from inside the truck’s cab;
  • Surveillance/dashboard camera footage;
  • Information on the truck’s black box;
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses.

A lawyer who has dealt with distracted driving truck wrecks nationwide could be a crucial ally during the evidence collection process.

Call an Attorney after an Interstate Distracted Driving Truck Accident

Truck drivers are unfortunately prone to being distracted when they travel long distances across interstate highways. If a distracted trucker causes a wreck, holding them and/or their employer accountable for the ensuing losses should be a priority for anyone harmed by that commercial driver’s misconduct.

A capable lawyer with experience helping people nationwide in situations like yours could determine whether you have a valid distracted driver truck accident claim. Call today to see if we can help.