Trucks, cars and handheld devices could spell trouble
On behalf of Wilt & Thompson, PLLC on Friday, July 13, 2018.
There are certain warning signs that a big rig is about to become a danger to you and the drivers around you, but some problems cannot be seen.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has laid down strict laws about truck drivers and their use of cellphones. However, truckers do not always follow the rules, and you would not know if a disaster were about to occur because of a few seconds of cellphone use.
The FMCSA regulations
A truck crash can result from a defective part, overloading, maintenance issues or poor road conditions, among other possibilities. The FMCSA has addressed one more risk by issuing rules about the use of mobile devices. In FMCSA terms, the use of such a device involves holding it with at least one hand to make a call, dialing it by pressing more than one button or reaching for the device in a way that causes the driver to move from a seated position. With the exception of using a mobile phone in an emergency or to contact law enforcement, truckers are only permitted to use “hands-free” devices to make or answer calls.
In a truck-car crash, the smaller vehicle usually sustains the most damage due to the sheer size and weight of the big rig. This also means that the occupants of the car will sustain the most serious injuries, and it is not unusual for those injuries to be catastrophic and life-changing.
A personal injury attorney experienced with assisting victims of truck-car accidents will tell you that cases of this kind are often more complex than ordinary motor vehicle crashes, mainly because liability often extends to more than one party. An investigation will be very thorough, and if driver distraction due to mobile phone use is suspected as the cause, the evidence an attorney gathers would include phone records. Keep in mind, however, that no matter what the cause of the accident turns out to be, a victim has the right to expect full and fair compensation for injuries, vehicle damage and more.