Truck drivers responsible for hauling cargo via tractor-trailer work long, grueling hours. They may drive hundreds of miles in a single day, often on boring stretches of road. They are away from their families for weeks at a time and spend a lot of time alone. Therefore, some drivers attempt to pass the time on the road with risky behaviors—such as texting, playing games on a phone or tablet, reading, or talking on the phone. However, these behaviors are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. The driver of a tractor-trailer needs much more time to react and stop than does the driver of a standard motor vehicle. Even being distracted for just a couple of seconds can have fatal results—it more than doubles your odds of being involved in an accident. Scarily, sending a text message takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds.
Proving that a truck driver was distracted
Accident victims often wonder how they will prove a truck driver was distracted when an accident occurred. However, there are several ways to prove a truck driver was not paying attention at the time of an accident.
First, there are certain types of accidents that are more likely to occur when a driver is distracted. Drifting into another lane, failing to stop for stop signs or stop lights, and rear end collisions are some examples. Although the type of accident alone will not determine if a driver was distracted, it may be used in conjunction with other evidence.
Several individuals may witness the distracted behavior as well. For example, other drivers, passengers, and bystanders may notice that a truck driver is using a cell phone or texting. These witnesses may later provide statements to the police, which may be used in the accident claim.
Cell phone records can also be very telling. Cell phone records can reveal whether a truck driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time an accident occurred. Personal injury attorneys request these documents from the cell phone provider and carefully study them to determine when the truck driver was using a cell phone.
Many truck companies may implement the use of dash cams in their trucks as well. These cameras record while the truck driver is driving. Any accident that occurs is recorded from the truck driver’s point of view. These videos can be extremely valuable in an injury case. Similarly, video footage from security cameras and traffic cameras may also be used in these claims.
In some cases, the truck driver may actually admit he or she was distracted. These statements may often be used in the claim.
Don’t pursue a claim without an injury lawyer
Personal injury lawyers possess the expertise necessary to handle truck accident cases. At Stein & Shulman, our attorneys work with you to create a tailored solution for your case. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (312) 422-0500.