Texting and driving is dangerous regardless of the circumstances. However, some motorists who engage in this behavior can impose a greater risk on other drivers. Amongst them are those who operate commercial vehicles. The size of these vehicles in conjunction with the speeds at which a distracted driving accident can occur often cause catastrophic results. This may mean that victims suffer permanent disability or death.
Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that commercial vehicle drivers who engage in texting and driving are more than 23 times more likely to commit an act that puts safety at risk, such as swerving into another lane or causing a commercial vehicle accident. The risk is so high because an individual who takes his or her eyes off the road for even four or five seconds can travel about the length of a football field without seeing the road. This means that many distracted commercial vehicle drivers wind up deviating from their lane, failing to yield to pedestrians or failing to slow for stopped traffic.
Under federal regulations, “texting” includes more than just sending messages to other individuals. Checking email, instant messaging and surfing the web are also included under the definition. In essence, any activity with a cell phone that goes beyond pushing a single button to initiate or terminate a call is deemed “texting.”
While commercial vehicle drivers may be fined for texting and driving, those penalties pale in comparison to the real harm that can be suffered by victims of commercial vehicle accidents. These individuals are often subjected to unexpected medical expenses, lost wages and physical and emotional pain and suffering. Fortunately, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may lead to the recovery of compensation to help offset these damages. Evidence of a federal regulation violation may help support one of these claims.