Distracted driving is a serious problem nationwide, and it’s especially dangerous coming from operators of 80,000-pound trucks.
Lexington, KY (PRWEB) October 07, 2011
A recent proposal to ban cell phone calls and text messaging by commercial truck and bus drivers could save thousands of lives if it gains approval from federal regulators and state lawmakers, Lexington trucking accident attorney Frank Jenkins III said today.
The recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board would ban commercial drivers from talking on cell phones except in emergency situations. It is the most comprehensive attempt at reform that the NTSB has ever made regarding cell phone use by truck and bus drivers, according to an Associated Press article.
Jenkins, whose Fayette County law firm regularly handles personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles, praised the NTSB’s action.
“Distracted driving is a serious problem nationwide, and it’s especially dangerous coming from operators of 80,000-pound trucks,” Jenkins said. “You need only look at my home state of Kentucky to see why.”
Indeed, the NTSB announced the proposal after ruling that a truck driver using his mobile phone was the probable cause of a tractor-trailer crash that killed 11 people on a Kentucky interstate in 2010. Two children, a five-year-old and a three-year-old, were the only survivors.
“It’s a tragedy when any lives are lost in any truck wreck, but that accident is particularly heart-wrenching because it left two innocent children without parents,” the Kentucky injury attorney said. “It’s the tragic and yet perfect example of why a cell phone and text messaging ban makes sense for commercial drivers.”
More than 3,600 people were killed and another 93,000 were injured in large truck and bus accidents in the U.S. in 2009, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In Kentucky alone, more than 100 motorists died and over 900 suffered injuries in commercial vehicle accidents.
“Even though they receive specialized training in how to drive big rigs, commercial truck and bus operators are just as vulnerable to distractions, such as talking on the cell phone, as any other driver,” Jenkins said.
“All the training in the world won’t help them if they’re typing out a quick text message in their rig at 60 miles per hour and don’t notice they’re drifting into the other lane or that the car in front of them has slammed on the brakes.”
The FMCSA and National Highway Safety Administration have joined with the NTSB in making proposals to prevent accidents in recent months, Jenkins said.
“Several measures have been suggested, such as imposing a maximum speed limit on heavy trucks and developing stricter rules for how long truck drivers’ shifts can be,” the Lexington lawyer explained.
“All of these proposals, including this recent NTSB one, would address three major causes of tractor-trailer crashes – distracted driving, speeding and commercial driver fatigue.”
Many large truck accidents result in catastrophic personal injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain and neck trauma, broken bones and severe organ damage.
“Most of those injuries have long-term consequences for innocent victims and their families,” Jenkins said. “Recovery can take years, and may never restore the quality of life that victims enjoyed before their truck accidents. That’s why they desperately need the compensation that can come from a personal injury or wrongful death claim.”
In general, truck accident victims or their families can collect damages for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of future earnings and pain and suffering, among others, he said.
“People may not immediately think of contacting a lawyer when are overwhelmed and trying to figure out how their lives will be after the accident,” Jenkins said. “But they need to know that compensation is available to help them during the transition. When truck accidents occur, the lawyers at my firm always suggest that victims, even if they think they are at fault for the accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.”
About the Frank Jenkins Law Office
The Lexington, Ky., personal injury attorneys of the Frank Jenkins Law Office handle injury and accident cases, including motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, workplace accidents, construction accidents and Social Security disability claims. For more information, contact the Frank Jenkins Law Office today at (800) CAR-WRECK, locally at (859) 389-9344 or through the firm’s online contact form.