Truck Accidents and Distracted Driving

If a distracted truck driver hit you and caused you serious harm, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. A skilled truck accident attorney could help you take action to hold the driver and the trucking company that employs them accountable.

At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., our truck accident lawyers have decades of experience helping truck accident victims get justice after severe injury accidents. We have intricate knowledge of how these cases work, what evidence to look for, and how to ensure that you get the maximum compensation you’re owed for your claim.

Call us or contact us online to discuss your accident with one of our skilled and compassionate truck accident attorneys right away. Our consultations are always free, and we won’t charge you anything until we win your case.

Dangers of Distracted Truck Drivers

A distracted driver puts everyone on the road at risk. Truck drivers often work long hours and may be alone in the cab for much or all of the time they are working. Despite these conditions, truckers have a responsibility to stay alert and focused on the road ahead of them. Failure to do so could result in a devastating crash.

Some common types of distracted driving truck accidents include:

  • Head-on collisions – When truck drivers fail to pay attention behind the wheel, they sometimes drift into nearby lanes of oncoming traffic and cause devastating head-on collisions.
  • Rear-end accidents – In some cases, distracted truck drivers may fail to notice traffic congestion or vehicles in their blind spots. Rear-end accidents may result if truckers do not leave enough time or distance to slow down or stop safely to avoid a hazard.
  • Sideswipe accidents – If truck drivers are distracted, they may veer into neighboring lanes of traffic and collide with the sides of other vehicles. Sideswipe collisions often cause serious injuries and may lead to multi-car pileups.
  • T-bone collisions – Distracted truck drivers sometimes cross intersections and collide with the broadsides of other vehicles in catastrophic T-bone accidents.
  • Rollover accidents – If distracted truckers take turns too quickly or fail to react appropriately to dangerous road conditions, trucks can flip over. Rollover accidents can crush nearby vehicles or litter roadways with dangerous debris.
  • Jackknife accidents – In some cases, distracted truck drivers who engage in improper braking techniques can cause jackknife truck accidents, which can sweep others into multi-car pileups and create hazardous road obstacles.

Statistics on Distracted Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regularly publishes information and statistics about the dangers of distracted truck driving to keep our roads safer. Some of their most eye-opening distracted truck driving facts include:

  • Approximately 11,000 truck accidents occurred over a three-year period because of external distractions
  • Driver inattention was the top contributing factor in crashes and near-crash events, with 80 percent of events involving some form of driver inattention within 3 seconds of the crash or near-crash
  • Truck drivers were engaged in “something besides driving the truck” in 71 percent of large truck accidents
  • Texting while driving increased truck drivers’ chances of being involved in “safety-critical events” by 23 times and reading a map while driving increased those odds by seven times
  • Truck drivers who used dispatch devices while driving were nine times more likely to be involved in safety-critical traffic events
  • Truckers who handheld cell phones behind the wheel are three times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event
  • Truck drivers who dial handheld cell phones were more likely to make frequent and larger steering corrections than drivers who were simply speaking on the phone

Types of Driver Distractions

Hauling heavy cargo with a large vehicle demands the driver’s full and complete attention at all times. Unfortunately, there are many types of distractions that can interfere with drivers’ attention, such as:

  • Texting or using a smartphone – The average text message distracts a driver for 5 seconds, enough time to travel the length of a football field at just 55 mph
  • Eating or drinking – Truckers who drink coffee, enjoy snacks, or eat lunch as they drive do not have their attention fully focused on safe driving
  • Personal grooming – Truckers often spend much of their lives behind the wheel, so hair combing and other grooming activities on the road are dangerously common
  • Checking maps or navigation devices – To be safe, truck drivers should pull over and stop before consulting maps or adjusting navigational systems
  • Watching videos – Truckers spend long hours on the road and sometimes engage in risky behaviors, such as watching videos while driving

Commercial Driver Laws and Distracted Driving

Based on a number of important studies conducted by the FMCSA, NHTSA, and other safety administrations, the federal government has enacted several commercial motor vehicle regulations specifically to combat the threat of distracted truck driving. Important commercial driver laws regarding distracted driving include bans prohibiting truck drivers from:

  • Holding mobile phones, reaching for their devices, or pressing multiple buttons on their devices while driving
  • Texting while driving, including manually entering text on a device’s screen or reading text from device screens on the road
  • All handheld cell phone usage while driving if transporting hazardous cargo

Our Philadelphia Distracted Truck Driving Accident Lawyers Can Help You

If you were injured by a distracted truck driver, the experienced trial attorneys of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can support your personal injury claim by:

  • Obtaining data from truck’s electronic logging devices or black boxes
  • Requesting truck driver cell phone and GPS records
  • Consulting expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists
  • Communicating with other parties on your behalf
  • Negotiating aggressively for the compensation you deserve

No matter how serious or complicated the distracted driving truck accident that caused your injuries, Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., can help. Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation.