Texting While Driving Truck Accidents in Beaufort
Commercial vehicles are one of the major ways that goods reach the marketplace. According to the Trucking Industry Association, trucks move more than 70 percent of all products sold in the United States. Tractor-trailer drivers are entrusted with valuable cargo, but they are also responsible for the safety of all other motorists sharing the road. Unfortunately, not all truckers and trucking companies take this responsibility as seriously as they should.
Wrecks involving commercial trucks make up a significant percentage of highway fatalities and life-altering injuries in South Carolina. The difference in size and weight between a tractor-trailer and a typical commuter car means that in the event of a collision, the smaller vehicle will bear the brunt of the damage and its passengers may suffer significant injuries.
Truck driver error is the most commonly cited cause of injurious or fatal truck accidents. Inattention due to phone usage is often the reason for a driver losing control or failing to respond to road conditions appropriately. If you were injured in a Beaufort truck accident caused by texting while driving, consult a personal injury lawyer right away to secure the best chance at receiving appropriate compensation.
Bans on Phone Use While Driving in Beaufort
A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that drivers who text take their eyes off the road for almost five seconds every time they look at their phones. When driving on a Beaufort highway at the speed limit, this equates to traveling the length of a football field without looking at the road. Citing these statistics, the FMCSA established rules banning cell phone use by commercial drivers. Additionally, all 50 states have outlawed texting while driving.
South Carolina Code §56-5-3890 makes driving while texting a violation rather than a crime. However, truck operators who disobey these rules are subject to fines of up to $2,750 per violation and prohibition from driving their commercial vehicles for up to 120 days. Employers who permit or require their truckers to use cell phones while driving could be fined up to $11,000 per violation.
When a tractor-trailer accident victim files a claim for compensation for their injuries, the law holds the person at fault liable. If the trucker who caused the traffic collision was texting while driving, an assertive local attorney could cite the violation of safety regulations as evidence that they were negligent and should be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Proving that a Truck Driver was Texting While Driving
In the moments after a truck accident, victims are likely unable to assess the probable cause of the wreck, as they may not even be conscious. However, local law enforcement will attempt to determine what happened and may list driver error as a contributing cause. If so, an attorney in the area may use that as evidence that the driver was negligent in a potential truck accident claim.
Even if law enforcement does not cite the driver, a diligent attorney could collect evidence indicating the driver was texting. In certain cases, they might subpoena a driver’s cell phone records to determine whether the driver was using the phone to text around the time of the accident. An experienced legal professional could use a variety of strategies to build a strong case that the truck operator was texting while driving, and that this violation of federal safety rules caused the Beaufort accident that led to the plaintiff’s injuries.
Work with a Beaufort Attorney on Texting While Driving Truck Crash Claims
Truck collision claims often involve the commercial driver and their employer, and occasionally include the maintenance contractor, loading company, and manufacturer of the vehicle. A skillful attorney can help an injured victim identify all potentially responsible parties in their civil claim to increase their chances of receiving full and appropriate compensation.
Reconstructing the accident, figuring out who is responsible, and determining the amount of damages are tasks for a well-practiced legal professional. Injured victims should be allowed to focus on their recovery in the aftermath of a traumatic traffic collision. If you were injured in a texting while driving truck accident in Beaufort, call an experienced legal ally at Schiller & Hamilton for a complimentary case review today.