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Distracted Driving for Truckers Involves More Than Cell Phones

Jul 16, 2015 - Truck Accidents by

Any driver is subject to a certain number of distractions, even during short trips. However, truck drivers often engage in more activities — even though they are operating massive and potentially-deadly vehicles. Our Charlotte truck accident attorneys believe that other drivers who are alert for signs of trucker distracted driving can take action to remain safe while sharing North Carolina roads.

Understanding the Nature of Truck Driving
Most drivers are on the road to get from one place to another; however, truckers are essentially conducting business during their travel. Additionally, since long-haul drivers can be on the road for days or even weeks, their cabs become a home away from home.

According to a report on Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there is a 23.24 odds ratio that truck drivers are likely to engage in text messaging while driving, even though it is illegal in virtually every state in the U.S. The report also provides an extensive list of other common distracted driving behavior by truck drivers, including the following:

• Truck-related activities such as interacting with dispatching devices or looking at maps
• Writing in a notebook or reading anything from paperwork to books
• Eating
• Personal grooming or even exercising in the cab

While these are some typical examples, anything is possible. In fact, a January 2015 Reuters article reported a truck driver who lost control of his truck due to distractions caused by pulling a loose tooth while operating his vehicle. His truck veered into a ditch before jackknifing into a stand of trees.

Proving Distracted Driving Poses Challenges
The good news is even though the tooth-pulling accident backed up traffic on an Alabama freeway for three miles and caused delays that extended for about three days, it caused no serious injuries. Even better, the trucker was quick to present the tooth to the Alabama Highway Patrol.

Still, while it is possible to identify cell phone-related distracted driving through phone records, it is more challenging to prove that a driver was reaching for a snack or engaging in other activities that were the actual reason behind a collision.

This information can be vital in seeking full and fair compensation from accidents that often cause serious injuries or fatalities. This is why it is so important for truck accident victims to engage support from a highly-experienced lawyer who has the skills and resources to conduct detailed investigations.