Semi tractor Trailers are huge powerful engines driving our economy. We depend on them for the abundance that is the American way of life. Other trucks join in making us the envy of the world. However, because of their size, when they collide with a passenger car in a highway accident, the results can be horrific. Wrongful death is common. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries happen frequently, injuries resulting in paralysis, including quadriplegia and paraplegia, change people’s lives. Burns and back injuries are also common.
A recent trend is helping to raise accident rates across the country – texting and driving. You see it all the time, a car swerving, and you wonder what’s going on until you pull up to see if you can help and there is a person with one hand on the wheel and a phone in the other with the driver looking up and down constantly, paying almost no attention to the road. I see this on the highways. Talk about a recipe for a disastrous highway accident. In fact statistics show that texting while driving has a similar impact on the drivers ability to control their car as a drinking and driving. Here is a startling fact issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road.
To deal with this problem there has been a movement in both state and federal legislation to prohibit texting and driving. The United States Department of Transportation passed regulations last week designed to prohibit bus drivers and truck drivers from sending text messages while operating a commercial vehicle. These rules apply to trucks and buses on the highway, with a weight of more than 10,000 pounds. The penalty for violating these rules is a fine up to $2,750.00.
Smart accident attorneys and injury attorneys know that there is likely no way for the government to enforce these rules and regulations. Although I hope these rules and regulations help, I still think the best way to avoid a road accident or a highway accident, is to not be texting yourself. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road, and to look out for other drivers who are not paying attention to the road. Please, parents have this discussion with your children – tell them not to text and drive. Tell them to keep an eye out for others not paying attention to the road.
If you want to learn more about highway safety, contact young and Young. If you have been injured by a texting truck or bus driver, or even a person texting in a passenger car, please call Young and Young for a free consultation. We will meet in our office or in your home or hospital room. We have 55 years of experience to help you and your family.