On July 19, a truck smashed into two vehicles on the Bay Bridge, pushing one of the cars over the guardrail into the water. The 29-year-old driver of the truck works for a Canadian trucking company and was on his first trip in the United States. According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the truck driver who caused this crash was distracted at the time of the collision.
Officials say the truck driver looked at the driver-side mirror because of sounds and lights behind him. When he looked back to the roadway ahead of him, traffic had stopped and he was unable to avoid crashing into an SUV and a car. The SUV driver was not harmed, but the car driver suffered minor injuries when her vehicle was forced over the barrier wall into the bay 27 feet below. She swam to safety. The crash remains under investigation and many are now questioning the safety of the bridge.
A distracted driver behind the wheel of a large truck can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, there has been a ban on all hand-held cell phone use by truck drivers since January 3, 2012. Truckers, bus drivers, and all other commercial drivers are not allowed to use a hand-held phone while driving. Commercial drivers who violate this law will face civil penalties of up to $2,750 and their employers can face fines of up to $11,000.
Cell-phone use is not the only form of distraction that can lead to serious injuries. Truck drivers must refrain from eating while driving, fiddling with their radio, watching videos, reading, checking a map, or doing just about anything that takes their eyes off the roadway, mind off driving, and hands off the wheel.
If a distracted driver injures you, you can hold him or her accountable for your losses with the help of a skilled Maryland personal injury lawyer at Alpert Schreyer. When a large truck is involved, you may be able to file a claim against the driver and the driver’s employer. This can be a complicated process and you will have to act quickly.