Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, and the results can be devastating. When a truck driver loses control, the vehicle will destroy everything in its path, changing lives forever.
A Penn Kestner & McEwen truck accident lawyer will be ready if you suffer a severe injury due to an accident caused by truck driver distraction. Schedule a free review of your case by calling (800) 732-3070 or contacting us online.
Distracted Driving: Is it a Problem Among Truck Drivers?
Yes. Distracted driving is a huge problem among truck drivers. According to one study, distractions contribute to 71% percent of all commercial truck crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studied the effects of distractions and found they caused an estimated 11,000 accidents across the country between 2007-2009.
Distractions Truck Drivers May Partake In
Truck drivers are responsible for operating some of the largest vehicles on the road, and safety is paramount. However, despite the importance of maintaining focus while driving, many truck drivers drive distracted. Here are some ways distractions can occur:
- Using cell phones: Smartphone use is one of the most common forms of distraction among all drivers. Texting, making calls, or checking notifications can distract a driver from the road.
- Eating or drinking: Eating or drinking while driving can be particularly dangerous for truck drivers due to the size of their vehicles.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours, and fatigue can be a significant problem. Drowsy driving can impair a driver’s reaction time, making it more challenging to stay alert and respond to unexpected events.
- External distractions: External factors, such as billboards, roadside attractions, or other vehicles, can also distract truck drivers.
Is Distracted Driving Against the Law for Truckers?
Distracted driving is against the law for truckers, as it is for all drivers. The FMCSA has established regulations that prohibit commercial truck drivers from using handheld mobile devices while operating a commercial vehicle, including texting, making phone calls, or using social media.
Additionally, the FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from using electronic devices while driving, such as a laptop or tablet, unless they are mounted securely in the vehicle and the driver can operate them without taking their eyes off the road for an extended period.
Truck drivers who violate these regulations can face significant penalties, including fines and suspension or revocation of their commercial driver’s license. The penalties can be even more severe if a distracted driving incident results in an accident or injury.
What Technology is the Truck Driver Required to Use While Driving?
It would be great if commercial trucks didn’t need drivers, but that day isn’t coming anytime soon. But there is technology designed to make trucks safer. The following are some examples:
- Electronic logging devices (ELDs): ELDs record a driver’s Hours of Service, which help enforce driving time regulations and prevent driver fatigue.
- Global Positioning System (GPS): GPS technology navigates and tracks the vehicle’s location, ensuring the driver stays on the correct route.
- Blind spot detection: These systems alert the driver when other vehicles are in their blind spots, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Collision mitigation: Sensors and cameras on the truck detect potential collisions and automatically apply the brakes if necessary.
- Dash cameras: Dash cameras record the driver’s behavior and the vehicle’s surroundings, providing a valuable tool for reviewing incidents and improving driver behavior.
However, truckers must not let the use of these systems distract them from their most important task – to keep themselves and others on the road safe at all times.
Who’s Liable for Your Injuries After a Truck Accident Caused by Distracted Driving?
Determining liability after a truck accident caused by distracted driving can be complex. Here are some potential parties that could be liable for your injuries:
- The truck driver: If the driver was distracted and caused the accident, they could be liable for your injuries. This is especially true if the driver violated federal regulations regarding distracted driving.
- The trucking company: The trucking company may be liable if they fail to properly train their drivers, hire drivers with previous safety violations, or encourage drivers to engage in dangerous behaviors such as texting while driving.
- The truck manufacturer: The truck manufacturer could face liability if a defect in the vehicle contributed to the accident.
Evidence Used in Distracted Driving Truck Accident Cases
In a truck accident case involving distracted driving, evidence plays a crucial role in determining liability and proving the extent of damages. Here are some types of evidence that can be used in such cases:
- Eyewitness testimony: Eyewitnesses who saw the truck driver engaging in distracted driving behavior can provide powerful testimony in court.
- Police reports: Police reports can document the circumstances of the accident, including any evidence of distracted driving.
- ELD data: ELDs can provide data on the truck driver’s driving hours and any signs of distracted driving, such as sudden braking or swerving.
- Cell phone records: Cell phone records can show if the truck driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.
- Video footage: Video from traffic or nearby surveillance cameras provides additional evidence of the accident and any distracted driving behavior.
Do You Need to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney if A Distracted Driver Hits You?
You’ll need to hire a truck accident attorney if you’ve been involved in a truck accident caused by a distracted driver. Here are some reasons why:
- Legal expertise: An experienced truck accident attorney will assess your case. Then, they’ll determine the best legal strategy to pursue based on the circumstances of your accident.
- Investigation: Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident to gather evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and other relevant documentation.
- Negotiation: Your legal representative can negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident. They’ll ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.