Last year in Rosedale, a trash truck crossed onto a railroad track as the train was approaching and caused the train to derail, ultimately resulting in millions of dollars of property damage. Luckily, no one was hurt in the accident.
Just recently, the National Transportation Safety Board released the results of its investigation into the accident. The NTSB determined that the driver failed to check that the tracks were clear before he proceeded over them. Specifically, the NTSB also determined that the driver of the trash truck was on his cellular phone, using a hands-free device, at the time of the accident.
Evidently, the cell phone records of the driver came back indicating that he accepted a phone call just 18 seconds before the serious accident.
Driving While Talking on the Phone
There has been a recent trend across the nation of legislation being passed making cell phone use illegal while operating a motor vehicle. In Maryland, it is currently against the law to drive while texting or talking on the phone. However, it is not against the law to drive while talking on a hands-free device.
The above accident, however, shows that hands-free devices may not be as safe as previously thought. The NTSB, in its report, noted that “Current laws may mislead people to believe that hands-free is as safe as not using a phone at all.”
Distracted Driving Accidents
Talking on the phone or texting while driving certainly consists of distracted driving. This is likely still the case even when using a hands-free device. When a driver is operating a vehicle in a negligent manner and causes an accident as a result, that driver may be held liable by all who are injured in the accident in a Maryland negligence action.
In order to prove that a defendant was negligent under the eyes of the law, an accident victim must show that the other driver owed the victim some duty of care that was violated by an action of the defendant. In addition, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligent actions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. To learn more about the laws of negligence in Maryland, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the truck driver’s negligence. The law defines what some negligent conduct is, but that list is not exhaustive; meaning that there are other acts that may fit under the definition of negligent driving even if they have not been specifically listed as such. Driving while using a hands-free device could be one of these examples, depending on the facts of the case. If you have been injured in an accident, contact one of the dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC today by calling 410-654-3600.
More Blog Posts:
Truck Driver’s Negligent Driving Causes Serious Accident in Hagerstown, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 2, 2014.
Williamsport Bicyclist Injured When Hit By Dump Truck, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 10, 2014.