Driving a complicated vehicle like a tractor trailer requires concentration and skill. Unfortunately, most of today's truck drivers are bombarded with stimuli each day that can make staying focused a real challenge. Truck accident lawyers are well aware of the problems that most truck drivers face, whether it is talking on a cell phone or drowsiness caused by a lack of enough quality sleep. Sadly, distractions are one of the main causes of the many serious trucking accidents that occur every year.
Statistics on Distracted Truck Driving
Every day, thousands of tractor trailers travel hundreds of thousands of miles across the U.S. These trucks are everywhere, amassing millions of travel miles every year, making them a major presence on highways as well as many smaller and local roads. Annually, there are more than 120,000 trucking accidents that cause injuries or fatalities. Federal safety groups and the truck accident lawyers who deal with the aftermath of many of these accidents agree that perhaps as many as 65 percent of accidents involving commercial trucks are at least partially due to distraction.
Besides drowsiness, some of the main distractions tractor trailer drivers are exposed to relate to cell phones and the use of electronics while operating their trucks. Texting, talking on the phone, and even reaching for phones makes drivers as much as 24 percent more likely to be involved in a crash because their attention is elsewhere rather than on the road, even for a few moments.
Common Accidents Caused By Distracted Driving
Distraction can affect all drivers regardless of the involved vehicle size. Yet it is especially significant for those who operate tractor trailers, as these vehicles require a higher level of skill and concentration for safe operation. Truck accident lawyers who work with crash victims see a variety of events caused by driver distraction, including:
- Rear end collisions where drivers fail to slow or stop for traffic in front of them.
- Intersection crashes caused by a driver’s failure to see a red light.
- Merging and lane change accidents when drivers do not carefully observe the traffic around them.
- Loss of vehicle control due to inattention and/or overcompensation to recover.
While these are not the only kinds of trucking accidents caused by distraction, they are some of the more likely situations that can lead to costly wrecks and serious injuries. A lack of focus on traffic signs, signals, and other vehicles on the road can lead to a serious interruption of important decision-making abilities and a significant delay in reaction time. Loss of these critical few seconds are all that is necessary for a crash to occur.
Current federal laws do exist that restrict truck drivers from using cell phones or other electronic devices while operating their trucks; however, truck accident lawyers find that compliance is still an issue. These restrictions were instituted to reduce the incidence of distracted driving and resulting trucking accidents. Drivers found using these devices while operating any type of commercial vehicle, as well as the companies who employ them, are subject to serious penalties for non-compliance as a result!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190