Distracted driving is a major problem in the United States. Every year, thousands of drivers are killed—and even more suffer serious injury—in distracted driving accidents. For truck drivers who spend long, boring hours on the road every single day for weeks at a time, distracted driving is a growing risk. These truck drivers grow bored or tired and may become distracted as they try to make the time pass by a little faster. However, since taking one’s eyes off of the road even for two seconds can more than double the chances of an accident, glancing at a cell phone or changing the radio station can have devastating consequences. These are all examples of internal distractions, or those that occur inside the vehicle.
Common causes of distracted driving
There are many reasons that a driver may be distracted. Most often, these include:
Being “lost in thought.” This is actually the most common reason that distracted driving accidents occur. Drivers take their minds off of driving and worry about work, think about family issues, or daydream about upcoming vacations. They then fail to notice stopped vehicles, traffic signals, or other hazards and cause an accident.
Using a cell phone is the second most common reason for distracted driving accidents. Texting, making calls, reading email, and using navigation apps all take a driver’s eyes and mind off of the road and his hands off of the steering wheel, making this behavior especially reckless. Studies also show that even using handsfree devices with cell phones does not help improve driver concentration.
Eating is also a culprit of many distracted driving accidents. Truck drivers live on the road for weeks at a time and have many deadlines to make. Therefore, they eat a majority of their meals in their trucks. Trying to unwrap a burger or dip fries in ketchup can cause a truck driver to lose control of the truck.
Smoking is also to blame for some distracted driving accidents. Some truckers who smoke may find themselves responsible for an accident if they hit another vehicle while trying to light a cigarette, or if they drop their cigarette somewhere in the truck.
These behaviors are dangerous, especially for truck drivers responsible for hauling several tons of cargo.
Personal injury attorneys will gather cell phone records, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and even photographs and security camera footage to support these claims. In most cases, there is evidence that clearly shows a truck driver was not paying attention at the time of an accident. This evidence will be used to negotiate settlements or in court to argue issues of liability.
Our attorneys know how to prove a truck driver was distracted
With over four decades of experience, the attorneys at Stein & Shulman know how to help our clients obtain maximum compensation available under the law. During your free consultation, we will discuss your legal options. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (312) 422-0500.