What Are Common Truck Driver Distractions?
By: Kesha Brooks
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What Are Common Truck Driver Distractions?
When you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it can be a terrifying and life-altering experience. These accidents often cause serious injuries that are expensive to treat, leaving individuals struggling to get the compensation they need to recover. Truck accidents can also kill people in passenger vehicles while the driver walks away uninjured. If you lost a loved one to a trucking accident, you can seek damages in the wake of their loss.
Commercial truck drivers have many responsibilities while on the road. They must keep an eye out for other vehicles, follow the rules of the road, and watch for potential hazards. In addition to these responsibilities, truck drivers must also be aware of their surroundings and avoid any distractions that could lead to an accident. Whether you were involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler or another type of commercial truck, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to understand your legal rights and explore all possible avenues for getting the financial support you need.
Cell Phone Use
Cell phone use can take a truck driver’s attention away from the road for just a few seconds, but in that time, a lot can happen. A driver who is using their cell phone may not see another vehicle coming up quickly in front of them, leading to a serious collision. When a driver is talking or texting on the phone, they are not focusing on what is happening around them, making them more likely to miss important cues that could prevent an accident. If the driver of a semi-truck looks down at their phone for three seconds while traveling at sixty miles per hour, they will have traveled the length of a football field without their eyes on the road.
Eating and Drinking
Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. It is not uncommon for them to eat their meals in their truck and, to make sure they hit tight deadlines, they may eat while driving. Most people sit at a table or in a stationary seat to eat, so trying to eat while hauling the weight of a fully loaded semitruck that takes 525 feet to come to a full stop is a distraction that puts everyone on the road at risk. Any distraction behind the wheel of a semitruck can be deadly to passenger vehicles sharing the road.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Despite laws and regulations against driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, some truck drivers still choose to drink and use drugs while driving. The combination of alcohol and drugs can be extremely dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. When a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may not be able to focus on the road and may miss important cues that could prevent an accident. They may also make poor decisions while driving that could put themselves and other drivers at risk.
Unfamiliar with the Area
Truck drivers can cause accidents when they don’t know where they are going. When a truck driver is lost, they may take their focus off the road, or take a wrong turn onto a road they are unable to safely navigate – both potentially deadly mistakes.
Adjusting the Sound System
When a truck driver is adjusting the radio, they are taking their focus off the road – not just their visual focus as they take their eyes off the road, but their hearing may be impaired as well. This can be extremely dangerous, as they may not see other vehicles coming up quickly or miss important honks and cues that could prevent an accident.
Talking to Passengers
Truck drivers can cause accidents when they are talking to passengers, especially if they are having an intense or heated discussion. Though some companies that employ truck drivers have restrictions on passengers, there are currently no federal laws against passengers in semi-truck cabs, so passengers may always be a potential distraction.
Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents
There are a number of common injuries that can occur as the result of truck accidents, including everything from soft tissue damage to more serious, life-altering injuries like spinal cord damage, brain trauma, and amputation. These types of injuries can be very expensive to treat and can often require long-term medical care and rehabilitation.
One common injury often seen in truck accidents is soft tissue damage, which typically involves injuries to muscles, ligaments, or tendons. This type of injury can be extremely painful and may require the use of medications or physical therapy in order to manage the pain and regain mobility. Soft tissue damage can disrupt all elements of a person’s life by restricting how they move.
Other common injuries that are often seen in truck accidents include head trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones or fractures, and nerve damage. These types of injuries can be incredibly severe and may require long-term medical treatment as well as ongoing physical therapy in order for a person to fully recover. These types of injuries can also have severe emotional effects on someone who is already dealing with the trauma of having been involved in a serious accident.
While rare in truck accidents because of the sheer size and weight of trucks, you may walk away from a crash but later realize that you have suffered injuries. This could take weeks or even months before you see symptoms of your truck accident. This does not mean you cannot hold the negligent driver responsible for your crash, but you will need to ensure extensive documentation and clear records showing that your delayed injuries resulted from your truck accident.
Getting Compensation for Your Injuries
When a person survives a truck accident, they may be left with serious and debilitating injuries that can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. These injuries can be costly, both in terms of medical expenses as well as lost wages due to missed work.
In order to recover compensation for these losses, a person will typically need to file a personal injury claim. This involves identifying the party or parties responsible for the accident and establishing that they were negligent in some way. Once liability has been established, the injured person can seek compensation for their damages. This may include things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be possible to obtain additional compensation for intangible damages such as emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life.
It is important to remember that if you have been injured in a truck accident, even if you think your injuries are minor, you may end up with astronomical medical expenses. These expenses can bankrupt even well-off individuals. Combine your medical expenses with your inability to work, you can face serious financial hardship all resulting from a truck accident you did not cause.
To get compensation, you will need to prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident. This will require evidence and extensive medical documentation, showing your life before and after the crash, and how the injuries have impacted your ability to go about your regular life.
A Dayton Trucking Accident Lawyer at Wright & Schulte LLC Fights for You While You Recover
Give yourself the best chance of making a full and complete recovery by fighting to protect your rights. Contact a Dayton trucking accident lawyer at Wright & Schulte LLCtoday at 937-222-7477 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Dayton, Ohio, we proudly serve our neighbors in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Centerville, Toledo, Youngstown, and Miamisburg.