Quickly checking an incoming text, or having a few beers with a lunchtime burger are choices that many drivers make and ultimately result in no harm. However, there are laws in place against these actions because they have proven dangerous to do while driving. The dangers of distracted or intoxicated driving increase significantly when that driver is navigating an 80,000-pound truck through traffic.
If you were in a semi truck accident and know that the driver was impaired, then he or she should be liable for negligence. The following considers some of the most common types of truck driver distractions and impairments and how they apply to an accident claim.
Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol
The legal limit for commercial drivers in Pennsylvania is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .04 percent. For regular, passenger car drivers, the limit is .08 percent. However, according to 2012 data published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) alcohol was detected in 3.5 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes. For 2.1 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes, the detected BAC was .08 percent or more.
Driving While Impaired from Fatigue
Fatigued driving is an ongoing concern amongst commercial truck drivers. According to Saferoads.org, citing the FMCSA, more than 750 people die each year and more than 20,000 injured because of accidents caused by fatigued commercial drivers.
Despite the fact that the FMCSA has implemental laws to reduce the number of fatigued drivers on the road, these regulations are often violated. You can read more about the growing problem of truck driver fatigue.
Using a Cell Phone While Driving
Using a cell phone while driving is a dangerous behavior for all drivers, and may be particularly dangerous when done by a commercial truck driver. The FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have prohibited commercial truck drivers (and interstate bus drivers) from using any handheld devices while operating their commercial vehicles.
Driver Distractions and Impairment: Why They Matter in an Accident Claim
Proving that a driver was distracted or impaired at the time of an accident may be an essential aspect of recovering damages in a car accident claim. Driving while distracted or impaired is negligent.
The negligent driver is the one found at fault and responsible for the subsequent property and bodily injury. If you’ve been in a truck accident, proving the truck driver’s fault can help you recover the compensation you need to pay for your injuries.
Let a Truck Accident Attorney Help You Prove Negligence
Proving that a truck driver was distracted or impaired at the time of collision isn’t always easy. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys can gather the evidence and connect the dots necessary to establish truck driver negligence and liability. To get to work on your truck accident claim now, contact us today at 215-642-2335.