Distracted driving is a major problem on American roads. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distraction behind the wheel accounted for nearly 3,500 deaths in 2015 alone. What’s more experts indicate the problem is getting worse, with text messaging and handheld cell phone use driving the number of roadway fatalities with the greatest year-over-year spikes in years.
In light of these alarming statistics and a number of awareness campaigns that implore motorists to stay off their phones while driving, most reasonable Americans understand the grave risks associated with cell phone use at the wheel. Still, as the data makes clear, drivers are continuing to place their lives and the lives of others at risk by choosing distractions over the primary task of driving.
While distracted driving is dangerous when committed by any motorist on the road, it becomes even more concerning when that driver is behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle, some of which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers most often navigate interstate highways, where there is a higher rate of speed. When you factor in high speeds, heavy vehicles slow to stop or maneuver, and distraction, you get a deadly combination.
When commercial motor vehicles cause crashes, there are often devastating results and a greater likelihood that victims will suffer serious injuries than had they been hit by passenger cars. In many cases, as a string of recent crashes throughout Missouri have shown, these wrecks can be deadly.
Although Missouri may not ban text messaging and cell phone use for all motorists on our roads, it does prohibit them for all commercial vehicle drivers. Should a truck driver choose to use a cell phone or text behind the wheel, they are violating the law and engaging in a negligent acts that shows their sheer disregard for the safety of others. As such, those drivers and / or the trucking companies that employ them can be held responsible for any injuries and damages victims suffer as a result.
Our legal team at Meyerkord & Kurth urges everyone to avoid distractions and make the task of driving your primary task when operating any type of vehicle. We also extend our support to victims and families who want to learn more about their rights following distracted driving accidents, includingtruck accidents involved a distracted commercial drivers, and what we can do to help. To discuss a potential case, contact us for a free consultation.