Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Finds Majority of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents Due to Distracted Driving, Provides Guidance to Semi-Truck Drivers
Virtually all Houston residents likely know that distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things a person can do when driving a motor vehicle. Even more hazardous and potentially fatal, still, is when the driver of an exceptionally large and heavy vehicle, such as an 18-wheeler truck, focuses on something other than the road. 18-wheeler trucks are beasts of machines on Houston roads and highways and, due to their sheer weight and volume, can cause serious damage, injury, and death, when a distracted driving accident occurs. But who oversees safety precautions for 18-wheeler truck drivers, and who holds a distracted 18-wheeler truck driver accountable when an accident happens?
An Agency with a Mission to Increase 18-Wheeler Truck Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency established within the Federal Department of Transportation to ensure 18-wheeler truck safety on American roads and highways. The FMCSA, among other activities, promulgates rules and regulations for commercial 18-wheeler truck drivers to promote safety for all drivers on the road. As part of their mission, the FMCSA also provides important information and safety tips to 18-wheeler semi-truck drivers to heighten safety in the industry. One safety issue that the FMCSA urges 18-wheeler truck drivers to be aware of is the dangers of distracted driving.
According to the FMCSA, an incredible 71% of “large-truck” crashes occur when the driver of the truck is “doing something besides driving the truck.” In other words, the majority of 18-wheeler truck and semi-truck accidents occur when the driver of the 18-wheeler truck or semi-truck is distracted. Furthermore, the FMCSA notes that 80% of motor vehicle crashes were caused by inattentiveness to the road and surroundings on the part of the driver. In terms of sheer numbers, the FMCSA found that there were approximately 11,000 large truck crashes, including semi-truck or 18-wheeler truck crashes, within a 3-year period in the United States.
Safety Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
The FMCSA encourages 18-wheeler truck drivers to “stay focused on the job of driving your truck”. According to the FMCSA, 18-wheeler truck drivers “should avoid focusing on things outside of your truck that aren’t related to driving. This includes things like billboards, buildings, and people.” The FMCSA further advises 18-wheeler truck drivers to avoid texting while driving, using dispatching devices and cellphones while driving, reading, writing, and drinking and eating while driving an 18-wheeler truck.
Houston Law Firm Holds Distracted 18-Wheeler Truck Drivers Accountable
In Houston, when a person is injured in an 18-wheeler truck accident, due to the 18-wheeler truck driver’s negligent distracted driving, they may be entitled to money compensation not just from the truck driver, but also from the 18-wheeler truck driver’s employer. The experienced Houston truck accident lawyers at the Gilde Law Firm hold negligent 18-wheeler truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for negligently injuring Houston drivers. If you were involved in an 18-wheeler truck accident in Houston and it was not your fault, contact the Gilde Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation and learn about your entitlement to compensation.