Truck driver distraction is one of the leading causes of truck accidents nationally. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road and may be tempted to reach for their cell phones while driving. Drivers who text, talk on the phone, surf the web, or engage in like activities not only violate federal law, but they place themselves and others at considerable risk. At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our truck accident attorneys have over 130 years of combined experience representing truck accident victims injured due to driver distraction. We know that distracted driving crashes are often among the most serious. We fight for the full financial recovery of 18 wheeler accident victims who have suffered at the hands of distracted truck drivers.
The Tragic Death of Tim Huffman
Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Tim Huffman was killed in 2013 when the driver of an empty fuel tanker drove his truck at 65 miles per hour into several police cars and two fire trucks that were responding to an accident. Investigations revealed that Huffman was using his phone at the time of the accident to go on Facebook. The truck driver was so distracted he did not even slow down to avoid hitting the large vehicles in front of him. In the criminal case of State of Arizona v. Espinoza, the distracted truck driver was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to six years in prison.
Types of Truck Driver Distraction
Distractions can fit into the following three categories:
- Visual: Drivers become distracted when they take their eyes off the road;
- Manual: Truck drivers who take their hands off the wheel are considered distracted;
- Cognitive: While harder to recognize, taking your mind off the task of driving is a form of driver distraction.
Text messaging is considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three levels of distraction. Truck drivers who text take their eyes, hands, and mind off the road ahead. Drivers may look down for six seconds or more when reading a text or replying to a text, which, if traveling at 55 miles per hour, is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognized the dangers of truck drivers using hand held devices and banned the practice. Now, FMCSA rules ban texting and the use of hand held cell phones. Texting while driving could result in penalties of up to $11,000 for truck drivers and potentially driver disqualification. These stringent penalties, however, appear to have had little impact on the high rates of distracted driving.
Identifying truck driver distraction is not always an easy task. Truck drivers may be able to conceal the use of their cell phones through placement of the phone. It is important that truck accident victims consult with our South Florida truck accident attorneys right away so that we can help to uncover evidence of distraction.
Contact the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation!
Distracted truckers pose a serious risk to all road users. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the Miami Truck Accident Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano as soon as possible. Our truck accident attorneys are dedicated to seeing you succeed in receiving the compensation you deserve from the negligent truck driver that caused your injuries. At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, we bring over 130 years of combined professional experience to your case. We have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and have been named a Top South Florida Law Firm by the Miami Herald. Call us today at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to schedule your free consultation or you can contact us online.