Although many truck drivers spent most of their time on the road alone, many share their trucks with coworkers or colleagues. This is especially the case with smaller commercial trucks, such as moving trucks, furniture trucks, and delivery trucks. When other individuals are present in a vehicle, the driver is more likely to be distracted. In addition, objects in the vehicle, such as cell phones, food, and GPS devices can also be distracting.
All drivers, whether they are driving a small vehicle or an 18-wheeler truck, have a duty to use caution and to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Drivers must remain focused while they are driving: they need to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. Talking with passengers, changing the radio station, making calls, and looking for the next turn on a GPS device are all distracting. If a driver is engaging in any of these behaviors and causes an accident, that driver may be liable for the damages the victim claims.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States. How can drivers avoid the risk of being involved in an accident?
First, make sure all loose items are secured in the vehicle. Many drivers cause accidents when they try to grab items that are rolling around—such as cell phones, groceries, and children’s toys. Securing all of these items before you begin driving will significantly reduce the odds of an accident.
Instead of eating on the road, either eat before you begin driving or take a quick break to eat in a restaurant. Dealing with wrappers, French fries, soda, and other food items can be difficult to manage while also holding on to a steering wheel.
Many vehicles have “handsfree” options for mobile devices—some use Bluetooth technology for calls, and others can even read your text messages to you. However, these features are still distracting. It is best to turn off your device and place it in a glove compartment.
Many drivers talk to their passengers with no issues. Make sure that you do not turn to look at passengers as you talk to them. In fact, have them help you out with directions and focus on the road to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.
Also, watch out for other distracted drivers—look out for weaving in and out of lanes, failing to acknowledge traffic signals, and sitting in traffic for extended periods of time, even after the vehicles in front have begun to move. If you notice any of these signs, keep your distance from the vehicle.
Did a distracted truck driver cause your accident?
If you were injured by a distracted truck driver, contact the attorneys at Stein & Shulman today. With over 40 years of experience, our attorneys know how to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 312-422-0500.