Were You Injured by a Distracted Trucker?
A truck driver’s primary attention needs on the road ahead of them. Driver inattention and distraction are major big truck wreck causes in Missouri and Kansas. An experienced truck wreck attorney will often have handled a number of cases involving these issues.
Many things can cause driver inattention or distraction. Basic driving tasks like having to shift a complicated manual transmission may briefly divert a driver’s attention from the road ahead. Driving for extended periods on long, straight roads through flat terrain can cause boredom and driver inattention. Driver fatigue can also cause lapses in attention.
Distractions can come from eating or drinking in the truck, lighting or smoking a cigarette, using portable electronic devices and in-vehicle technologies. The bottom line is when the driver’s eyes are off the road, they cannot react as quickly to things happening on the road. Even a brief distraction can cause an 18 wheeler accident resulting in catastrophic injury.
Texting and Cell Phones
Distraction from texting and cell phone use have caused truck accidents on roads and highways across the country. A University of Utah study found that cell phone use while driving delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 percent, the state legal limit. Other research shows that truck drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a crash, lane departure or near crash.
“Distraction in Commercial Trucks and Buses: Assessing Prevalence and Risk in Conjunction with Crashes and Near-Crashes“, a 2010 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s Center for Truck and Bus Safety sought to identify the consequences of cellular use and other electronic device distractions while driving a commercial vehicle. In the study, the sample truckers were dialing numbers on their cell phones, reaching for their devices or their headsets, talking or listening on both hand-held and hands-free devices, or accessing the Internet while driving. The study also indicated that 3.97% of crashes, near-crashes, and crash-relevant events resulted from cell phone use.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations now prohibit big-rig and other commercial motor vehicle drivers from texting, reading texts holding or dialing a cell phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle. Despite this, some truck drivers may still be using handheld devices to make calls, send text messages, read or send emails, surf the Internet, listen to music, or access applications – while still on the road.
Distracted driving or driver inattention by a commercial truck driver can cause injuries like back injuries, spinal cord injury, broken bones, head trauma, burns, whiplash, disfigurement, amputations and death. Apart from physical and emotional toll, the victim and the victim’s family may also have to deal with financial damages. These can include medical bills caused by the truck accident, rehabilitation costs, lost income due to an inability to perform duties, future income loss and scarring or disfigurement.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured, disabled, or killed in a trucking accident caused by distracted driving, call Flick Law Firm as soon as possible. We know how to recover financial compensation for your injuries and/or losses in truck accident cases and hold the responsible driver or negligent party accountable for his or her actions.