As a Missouri tractor-trailer accident lawyer, I was pleased to see a Jan. 13 blog post from FleetOwner.com addressing the dangers of texting while driving. The Trucks at Work blog made the case that truckers and the trucking industry generally should pay attention to this issue, in part because it’s a growing concern for safety advocates throughout the United States. The federal Department of Transportation and the private National Safety Council have made cell phone use behind the wheel a focus of their campaigns against distracted driving. In fact, the NSC this week launched a MADD-like organization advocating against texting while driving, named FocusDriven.
According to the blog, the NSC estimates that drivers using a cell phone in some way cause 28% of crashes. The majority are drivers talking on the phone, according to the NSC, but 200,000 of those crashes, or 3% of crashes overall, were caused by drivers involved in texting. Using other research, the blogger suggested that the true number of texting-involved crashes could be as high as 1 million. While the author didn’t seem to think truckers were likely to be guilty of texting– despite some research to the contrary — he suggested that truck drivers should care because people in smaller vehicles were likely to cause crashes. According to research from the Auto Club Foundation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers did nothing unsafe in 73% of all crashes.
As a southern Illinois trucking accident attorney, I won’t argue with those numbers. Research consistently shows that drivers of heavy trucks crash less often than non-commercial drivers. However, when trucks do crash into passenger vehicles, they can cause deaths and devastating injuries, even if the same accident wouldn’t have been serious if the truck had been another car. Or, to put it another way, trucks’ much greater size and weight gives them the potential to kill and permanently disable the motorists around them, regardless of fault. That makes it essential for truck drivers to drive carefully and avoid anything that could impair their driving or judgment. And that means truckers have at least as much responsibility as other drivers, if not more, to avoid texting on the road.
Trucking accident injuries can cause devastating, irreversible injuries such as paralysis and brain damage, as well as wrongful deaths. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents families that have suffered these and other terrible injuries because of a trucking accident that was no fault of their own. Our St. Louis tanker truck accident lawyers represent people throughout Missouri and southern Illinois who were injured because of a truck driver’s or trucking company’s bad decisions. Through civil litigation, we hold these companies responsible for the results of their actions and help families recover the money they need to treat their injuries, make ends meet and be fairly compensated for losses that are often irreversible.
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