The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a final report on a truck and train collision that occurred last year which led to the explosion of a 15-car freight train. The results of the report lend support to the position that limits should be extended on the use of all portable electronic devices by commercial drivers.

Denver Truck Crashes Could be Prevented by Barring Hands-Free Phones

A truck accident lawyer knows driver distraction is a leading cause of motor vehicle collisions. Hands-free systems are not necessarily any safer than handheld systems. In fact, some evidence suggests  using a hands-free device could actually take more of your focus away from the road. Since commercial truckers operate such large vehicles, there is a lot at stake when a collision occurs and it is very important for safety rules to do everything possible to reduce the chances that an accident will happen.

Preventing Truck Crashes By Prohibiting Electronic Devices

The FMCSA report revealed a truck driver was distracted by the use of a mobile communication device. As a result, he did not check properly to ensure the railroad tracks were clear before crossing the tracks. His distracted driving mistake allegedly led to a crash that derailed a 15-car freight train, which subsequently exploded.

Fleet Owner reports the National Transportation Safety Board expressed grave concerns about the FMCSA’s oversight failures and about the safety of motor carrier operators in light of the report on the train crash. The NTSB has made myriad recommendations in light of its own investigation, including passing tougher rules on the use of portable electronic devices.

The current laws prohibit truckers from using handheld electronics, but do not impose a broad ban on hands-free systems. The NTSB Acting Chairman expressed concern these rules could “mislead people to believe that ‘hands-free’ is as safe as not using a phone at all.” The reality is any distraction, including the use of a handheld device, could be the cause of a truck crash.

Because of the risks, the NTSB believes even the use of hands-free systems should not be allowed among commercial truckers who are operating commercial vehicles.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest banning hands-free and handheld electronic device use among commercial drivers could have a big impact on road safety. A report from Distraction.gov reveals around 81.5 percent of truck crashes reviewed in a research project involved driver distraction as a potential contributing factor. These distractions included:

  • Text messaging on a cell phone.
  • Complex tasks like cleaning a side mirror or looking through a grocery bag.
  • Interacting with a dispatch device.
  • Writing something down on a notepad or pad.
  • Using a calculator.
  • Looking at a map.
  • Dialing a cell phone.
  • Reading paperwork or other documents.
  • Personal grooming.
  • Looking back into the sleeper berth.

The bottom line is, any kind of distraction could potentially increase the risk of a truck crash. Reasonable steps should be taken to limit distractions, and a restriction on hands-free devices may be appropriate to increase public safety.

Contact Bell & Pollock at (877) 744-5900 to schedule a consultation with a truck accident in Denver, Greenwood Village and Steamboat Springs Colorado. 

Contact Us

Call a trusted attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. at (303) 795-5900 to get on the road to recovery now. You can also email our firm via the contact firm on this page.

As proud champions of the people, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions, explain the law and your rights, and help you take whatever steps necessary to recover the compensation you’re entitled to. With us in your corner, you can be confident that you have the legal support and representation necessary to successfully resolve your claim.

Don’t delay your recovery for a second longer – and don’t be misguided into thinking that you have to go through the process alone. Our attorneys are here, ready to help – and you won’t have to pay us anything until (or unless) there is a recovery in your case.

You may confidentially submit your question and it will be answered by Bell & Pollock, P.C. The only little catch is that he does this as a public service and he's going to give you some general advice only. This does not make you a client of Bell & Pollock, P.C. There is no charge for this service.
 
 
captcha

Free Legal E-Books

Click on any one of the e-books to access your free copy!

Case Results

WE KNOW HOW TO WIN

CASE: Client was injured by a drunk driver. As a result of the motor vehicle accident, client was rendered a quadriplegic and needed a life care plan.
Outcome: $9,600,000

CASE: Against Insurance company for failure to pay for property damage after a gas and fire explosion.