Distracted Driving Truck Accidents in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Distracted Driving Truck Accident Law Firm
We don’t always mean lethal for the truck driver when truck driver distractions may be deadly. Nearly 73 percent of individuals killed in truck accidents, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, were not car occupants.
Driver attention is dangerous for all drivers, but truck driver distraction is especially dangerous for Colorado Springs drivers. So, what is being done to avoid truck driver distraction, and what are your rights if you’ve been involved in a major Colorado truck accident?
Types of Truck Accidents
Distraction in Truck Drivers: What Causes It?
Whether or whether a motorist is “distracted” when driving a car is determined by his or her actions. Distraction is characterized, in general, not by what you’re doing but by the repercussions of that behavior. Distracted driving may be divided into three types:
- Visual: When a driver’s eyes are not on the road at the moment of the accident or shortly before it.
- Manual: When a driver’s hands or feet lose touch with the steering wheel or pedals.
- Cognitive: When the motorist is not paying attention to the road, i.e., daydreaming.
In Colorado, “distracted driving” is defined as a collision caused by a motorist who was:
- Texting or talking on his phone
- Interacting with passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Changing the radio station
- Being inattentive in general
- Being distracted by outside causes, such as seeing an accident
On the other hand, maybe distracted driving is defined as any behavior that causes a motorist to lose visual, physical, or cognitive control while driving. Distracted driving is one of the major causes of heavy truck collisions, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and this includes distraction caused by impairments such as weariness, alcohol/drug use, and sickness. What can be done to prevent a truck driver from losing cognitive concentration on the road due to such impairment?
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Trucking Regulations in the United States
Because impairment-related cognitive distraction is one of the primary causes of fatal truck accidents, federal commercial vehicle laws now incorporate truck-driving limitations to minimize weariness and sickness. Commercial truck drivers must follow three different kinds of hours-of-service regulations:
The 14-hour driving window — truck drivers are given a 14-hour “window” in which they may drive up to 11 hours; however, the window must be activated after a truck driver has been off duty for at least 10 hours.
The 11-hour driving restriction — A truck driver is only permitted to drive his truck for 11 total hours during his 14-hour window; however, he must be within 8 hours of his or her previous break, which must be at least 30 minutes. Simply put, a motorist cannot drive for more than 8 hours without stopping for 30 minutes.
The 60/70-hour duty restriction – A truck driver cannot run the car for more than 60 hours in seven days or more than 70 hours in eight days; • The 34-hour restart – A truck driver must take 34 consecutive hours off duty, including sleep, to “restart” his 60 or 70-hour clock. There are always “hours” remaining on the week that will not reset if the driver does not take the specified time off.
These rules apply to the whole transportation sector and each driver, not just the trucking firm. In addition, “off-time” does not cover rest stops in the truck or traveling as a truck passenger. Because these standards may be difficult to follow and truck drivers may be motivated to go around them to get home faster, it’s critical to contact a Colorado truck accident lawyer who is familiar with these complicated rules if you’ve been in a truck accident.
Drug and Alcohol Testing by the FMCSA
Due to the long hours on the road and the concentration required to properly drive a massive truck for hours on end, truck driving is a demanding career. As a result, not only might truck drivers be distracted by cellphones or radios, but many truck drivers have resorted to drugs and alcohol to deal with their jobs. This is particularly hazardous since it’s one thing if a drunk or “buzzed” driver of a small car rear-ends another car at a low speed.
Still, it’s quite another if the driver of a massive eighteen-wheeler rear-ends another car at the same blood alcohol level and speed. Even a slow-moving truck’s weight and force will be transmitted to the smaller car to a larger degree, resulting in more significant injuries to the rear-ended car’s occupants.
As a result, anybody with a commercial driver’s license must undergo obligatory drug and alcohol testing (CDL). It also has a set of rules for the reinstatement of drivers who have previously been convicted of DUI.
Importantly, the Department of Transportation holds all employers responsible for enforcing its commercial driver drug and alcohol regulations, which means that if a truck driver violates these regulations, the employer could be held vicariously liable if it failed to follow the procedures in place to ensure its drivers were not endangering the public.
Distracted Driving’s Risks
Distracted driving, according to several studies, is significantly riskier than driving while intoxicated. Distracted drivers may not be able to keep their eyes, hands, or brains on the road. This may severely delay response times. A few seconds in an car collision might be the difference between causing death or not or creating a car accident.
Given the weight and impact of a commercial vehicle, the hazards are significantly greater when truck drivers are distracted. Distracted truck driving is more likely than other forms of car accidents to result in deaths. W
hen massive cars collide, the damage is significant. Rear-end crashes have caused many cars to be wrecked. Many cars distributed over multiple lanes may be involved in an accident caused by a single diesel truck.
Even if there are no deaths, truck accidents may cause catastrophic injury to passengers in passenger cars. Cuts and bruises to gaping wounds, and fractured bones are all possible injuries. Head trauma must be treated very once since the injury may have long-term consequences.
Distractions Caused by Driving
At the best of times, driving a truck is tough. Many different sorts of accidents may occur when a person is distracted while driving. Loud music may divert the listener’s attention away from the road or the radio, broadcasting driving warnings. Seatbelts that aren’t securely fastened might cause the driver to lose concentration on the road and other cars. Insufficient sleep may lull the driver to sleep.
Objects that fall throughout the car may draw focus away from the voyage. When a person’s attention is diverted to a phone, their driving abilities suffer significantly. Because it pulls the driver’s hands, eyes, and thoughts off the road, texting while driving is frequently regarded as the most significant distraction.
Distractions may be avoided by exercising extreme vigilance before and while driving. For many causes, distractions divert attention away from the road. The telephone should be turned off to guarantee that messages, calls, and data are not accessed while driving. Objects in the car should be secured so that they do not fall while driving.
If windows must be opened, all paperwork should be put away. Physical documents flying about the car are a source of distraction that may be easily avoided with proper management.
Regulations have been put in place to limit the number of hours truck drivers work per day and week. Truck drivers are not permitted to drive for more than eleven hours per day or more than 70 hours per week without taking a 34-hour break.
This is largely a prophylactic approach to decrease accidents caused by falling asleep. This strategy, however, may also lessen the danger of distractions. Overall, the rest time and breaks allow for a higher level of safety.
Cases of Accidents
Victims of the accident who have suffered serious injuries may file a lawsuit. Damage caused by traffic accidents may need an investigation to ascertain what occurred and who is to blame. It’s possible that the inattentive truck driver is to blame.
Insurance claims often cover medical expenditures, therapy, and car repairs. If more than one person was distracted, fell asleep, or was irresponsible in causing harm to others, a case may impact many people.
Because accidents are not always simple to comprehend, it may be essential to investigate the traffic conditions, weather, collisions, impact spots, and other factors contributing to the scenario. A specialist who works with the lawyer may be hired to perform such an investigation. The findings may be shared with insurance companies, law enforcement officers, and the defense attorney.
Look for a Truck Accident Lawyer
Drivers who are distracted may be held accountable for damages to hurt people in an accident caused by their carelessness. Compensation for medical expenditures, property damage, pain and suffering, and maybe long-term care may be available to the sufferer.
When an accident happens, it is advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. This permits any difficulties to be handled by the legal representative, who has a greater understanding and expertise with these issues.
To bolster the claim, a lawyer may assist in investigating the factors that led to the accident. He or she may also manage the case’s discussions with the insurance firms involved.
What Evidence Do You Have That a Trucker’s Distracted Driving Caused Your Accident?
To collect the compensation you deserve, you must establish that the truck driver was inattentive and caused your injuries, just as in any other car accident. The following are examples of evidence that may be used to support this claim:
A police report is required
While a police record showing that the trucker was engaged in some sort of distracted driving is not admissible in court for legal reasons, it may be persuasive in discussions with the trucking company’s insurance adjuster.
If the trucker received a penalty for inattentive driving, such as texting, this might be strong evidence that the trucker was blamed for your accident.
Records from cell phones
According to mobile phone data, the truck driver may have been texting or chatting on his phone when he struck you.
Testimony of witnesses
Witnesses who saw the driver being distracted may be powerful evidence, particularly if they are unaffiliated with anybody involved in the collision.
Admission for truckers
While many truckers would not acknowledge being preoccupied, others will, especially when confronted by the cops.
Expert in accident reconstruction
If the reason for your accident is in doubt, you may need to employ an accident reconstruction specialist to replay the sequence of events to prove that distraction was the cause.
Footage from inside the taxi
In-cab film revealed that the trucker’s attention was diverted from his driving.
Tapes from surveillance
Surveillance videos from surrounding businesses may have captured the accident and shown the truck driver was distracted by his phone, eating or drinking, or indulging in other activities.
Before vital evidence, such as surveillance recordings or in-cab film, is destroyed, you must move immediately. How do you go about doing this? An expert truck accident lawyer may issue a spoliation notice to the trucking business, preventing them from deleting critical evidence and obtaining any surveillance film before it is overwritten.
Start an online conversation with Jeremy D. Earle, JD to book a free, no-obligation consultation to understand how he can help you collect the compensation you deserve if you or a family member was injured in a truck accident caused by driver carelessness.
Today, speak with a Colorado Springs truck accident and personal injury lawyer
Free Consultation with a Truck Accident Attorney
It might be difficult to provide driver distraction when there is just circumstantial evidence. However, the more strict laws that apply to commercial vehicle drivers may assist your attorney in proving to the court that the truck driver’s distraction caused your injuries.
You may have a solid case for negligence based on truck driver distraction if the truck driver was outside of his hours of the service window, tested positive for drugs or alcohol, or records reveal he was using his handheld device at the time of the accident.
Contact the Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers now if you have been wounded in a truck accident or if a loved one has been killed as a consequence of distracted truck driving.
They can examine your claim in compliance with federal transportation standards, and they have the personal injury and truck accident attorneys you need in the broader Colorado Springs region. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 719-300-1100 or send them an email.
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