Distracted Driving

Truck drivers spend so much time on the road that their cabs can become a combination home and office. Unfortunately, that can also mean that driving does not get their full attention at all times. Tight deadlines and the pressure to make a delivery on time can put a lot of stress on a trucker, which may promote multi-tasking at the expense of safe driving. From using a computer, to texting, to talking on a cell phone or even eating in order to keep on schedule, truckers may be inundated with a wide variety of distractions while behind the wheel. This type of distracted driving can lead to serious trucking accidents.

If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in an Oklahoma tractor-trailer accident and you believe distracted driving played a role, call the Tulsa truck accident attorneys at the Rode Law Firm today for a quick and detailed consultation free of charge. We are available 24/7 by calling (918) 599-8880, or you can complete our online contact form. You won’t pay unless we win your case.

It doesn’t take much for our Oklahoma distracted driving lawyers to get started on your case. Just answer a few questions by phone and complete a small amount of paperwork. We’ll promptly begin our investigation. We represent clients throughout Oklahoma, including Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Broken Arrow, Lawton, Edmond, Moore, Midwest City, Enid, Stillwater, Muskogee, Bartlesville, Shawnee, Owasso and Ponca City.

Our truck crash lawyers are well-versed in the state and federal laws governing the trucking industry and distracted driving. We are prepared to fight insurance companies, motor carriers or any other at-fault parties either during settlement negotiations or at trial in order to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries.

 About Distracted Driving and Truck Accidents                          

Anyone who operates a vehicle while text messaging or using a cell phone can be a danger to other motorists. But drivers of 18-wheelers pose an even bigger threat if they are focused on a communications device instead of watching the road. A truck’s massive size and longer stopping distance can make tractor-trailer accidents much more severe than collisions with standard automobiles.

The federal government recognizes the growing hazard of truck driver distractions and is taking steps to reduce these accidents. Severe penalties are now in place for truckers who use handheld cell phones while driving. This new law bans drivers from using any kind of handheld phones or texting devices while operating a commercial motor vehicle on the highway, even when temporarily stopped in traffic. CB radios, fleet management systems and GPS navigation systems aren’t included in this regulation. In addition, calls that can be made with a single button or to emergency services are exempt.

A truck driver who is caught breaking this law can expect a fine of up to $2,750. After two or more offenses, tractor-trailer drivers may risk losing their licenses. Furthermore, a trucking company that allows its drivers to ignore this federal ban on cell phone use faces a fine of up to $11,000.

The law against handheld cell phone use by tractor-trailer drivers is a good start toward decreasing the number of truck-related fatalities and injuries on Oklahoma’s roads. But the statistics reflecting accidents caused by distracted truckers is worthy of alarm. Some of the most frightening facts revealed in a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study include:

  • A truck driver texting while operating a semi is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker who is paying full attention to the road.
  • A truck driver dialing a cell phone is 5.9 times more likely to crash.
  • A trucker who reaches for a cell phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to be in an accident.
  • Using a dispatching device increases the odds of an accident 8.9 times.
  • A truck driver who is looking at a map is 7 times more likely to have an accident.

Cell phones and texting devices are not the only distractions in the cab of a truck. Other distractions that truck drivers face include:

  • PDAs, MP3 players and paperwork in hand while driving
  • Smoking
  • Looking at maps, manifests or navigation devices
  • Grooming and personal hygiene
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers

Even though many of these distractions are not explicitly banned for truck drivers in all states, evidence of distracted driving could still be an important factor in a truck accident lawsuit. Showing that a truck driver was distracted and that the distraction contributed to the wreck could be enough to establish negligence on the trucker’s part. Evidence of distracted driving could result the truck driver, the trucking company, the shipper and other parties being held legally responsible for your damages.

Tractor-Trailer Accident? Contact Our Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyers Now

If you’re suffering from injuries caused by a truck driver who was distracted behind the wheel, the Rode Law Firm in Tulsa can help get you the compensation you deserve. We understand the dynamics of distracted driving and truck accidents so we’re equipped to give you the guidance you need to recover your damages.

A crash with a tractor-trailer can have life-changing consequences for victims and their families. Medical expenses and lost wages often create financial hardships that endure for years, especially if you are unable to return to the same level of work that you did before. So it’s important that you take legal action against the trucking company responsible for your injuries.

Don’t delay – contact the Rode Law Firm in Tulsa right away. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call our office at (918) 599-8880. We can give you a quick assessment and advise you of your legal options. There is no fee unless we win your case.