Distracted driving is unnecessary, dangerous, and deadly. According to government statistics, over 3,000 people will be killed by distracted drivers each year. When truck drivers of large commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers, logging trucks, delivery vans, and other big rigs operate their trucks and choose to become distracted, many innocent people could be seriously injured or wrongfully killed. These large commercial vehicles are already dangerous and deadly when perfectly capable and experienced truck drivers are behind the wheel. But when distracted drivers take over, these large box trucks become unguided missiles on our roadways. Victims of distracted driving trucking accidents should call our Oregon districted driver accident lawyers to learn what rights to compensation they may.
Under Oregon law, victims of personal injury accidents are entitled to “damages.” In trucking accidents, damages are typically compensatory in nature. This means that victims may be entitled to money for damages such as the following:
Why is Distracted Driving so Dangerous?
Even though most of us are pretty comfortable operating a motor vehicle, it is not something to be taken granted for. Distracted driving does just that. Distractions while operating a motor vehicle include 1) visual distractions (taking eyes off the road), 2) physical distractions (taking a hand off the wheel), and 3) cognitive distractions (taking your mind off driving). A distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
The most dangerous distractions are those which involve all three visual, physical, and cognitive distractions. This is why texting while driving is one of, if not the worst, form of distracted driving. It takes your eyes off the road, a hand away from the wheel, and reduces or prevents your reaction with a cognitive distraction.
Common Distracted Driving Mistakes by Truck Drivers
While most truck drivers are properly trained and safely operate their big rigs, many truck drivers do not. This is an issue with the trucking industry, wherein truck drivers have endless hours of travel on the roads and may become bored or restless and look for ways to pass the time. Instead of driving forward and safely fulfilling their obligations as motorists, they may opt to keep themselves entertained. This results in distractions. A truck driver can easily become a dangerous distracted driver.
The most common causes distracted driving in 18 wheelers, big rigs, and other commercial trucks include the following:
Liability for Distracted Driving Trucking Accidents
Both Oregon law and federal regulations prohibit truck drivers from using electronic devices while operating a motor vehicles. Both sets of laws and regulations also prohibit motorists from operating a vehicle while distracted. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations contain very specific prohibitions as to any electronic devices. The violation of either Oregon law or FMCSA regulations could be evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver and the trucking company.
Yes, even if the truck driver is using his or her personal cell phone the trucking company may be liable for the 18 wheeler wreck caused by distracted driving. This is because employers was responsible for the negligent actions of their employees while the employees are in the scope of employment. This is a type of vicarious liability known as respondeat superior. As long as the negligent actions by an employee occur when he or she is working or furthering the business of the employer, the employer will be liable.
This is important for several reasons. First, the FMCSA regulations contain very specific and powerful obligations on trucking companies to ensure that their employees are well-trained, knowledgable, and competent to operate a large motor vehicle. Second, most truck drivers have limited insurance and most people in general have limited means—certainly not able to pay for the extraordinary damages that a person could suffer in a trucking accident. But most employers have high insurance policies which are enough to cover your medical expenses and damages if you have been hurt by one of their distracted driving employees.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.