Understanding How Federal Regulations Can Prove Liability in Accidents from Texting and Driving in New Mexico
Distracted driving is a big problem in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 3,000 people are killed each year from distracted driving. One of the largest and continuing to grow distractions is texting and cell phone use. The Centers for Disease Control and Presentation (CDC) labels texting while driving one of the worst forms of distracted driving because it 1) removes eyes from the road, 2) takes a hand off the wheel, and 3) takes your mind away from driving. This is why accidents from texting and driving are so common, and also devastating. Our trucking accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM knows one of the most devastating reasons why too.
Big rigs like semi tractor trailers, box trucks, flatbeds, 18 wheels, and other large box trucks are simply more dangerous because of their sheer size and weight. This means that one of these vehicles could cause catastrophic damage, even at a low speed, because of their momentum. Our trucking accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM knows this to be true too. We have seen many serious and fatal big rig crashes caused by head on or rear end collisions when a truck driver was texting while driving.
Federal Regulations Prohibit Texting While Driving for Truckers
Accidents from texting while driving a big rig were on the minds of regulators at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. They promulgated regulations that apply to all commercial vehicle drivers in the United States, no matter what state they are in, from, or going to. These regulations are the minimum requirements that must be complied with, whether or not a state has texting while driving laws.
For instances, 49 CFR section 392.80 provides a commercial vehicle driver from engaging in texting while driving. It also prohibits a trucking accident company from allow drivers to engage in texting while driving, or even requiring them to communicate that way.
A truck driver who is texting while driving is violating this regulation. If that texting while driving results in accidents from texting and driving, the violation of this regulation causing that accident and the injuries is evidence of negligence. This allows a victim and his trucking accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM to prove their case a little easier. It is not automatic, however, and a victim still needs an experienced lawyer like ours at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C.
Violation of a State Statute Can be Automatic Liability
While the violation of a regulation is only evidence of negligence, a violation of a statute state is an automatic finding of liability in most instances if the statute was meant to protect the victim from the harm that occurred due to the violation and the accident.
In New Mexico, the statute is NM Stat. section 66-7-374 which prohibits any motorist from reading, viewing, or manually typing a text message. This is all drivers, not just truck drivers. However, the violation of a truck driver allows for two layers to prove liability through the FMCSA and through New Mexico law. This is a very strong case for a plaintiff injured by a negligence trucker.
Ask the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for Help
Accidents from texting and driving are never acceptable. There are many other means for motorists to communicate, especially truck drivers. Trucking companies are deputized to protect the general population by not allowing or requiring truckers to text while driving. When any victim is injured in a trucking crash with a truck driver texting, ask our trucking accident lawyer in Albuquerque, NM for help.
Call to schedule a FREE consultation with the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000.We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.