Truck accidents caused by distracted driving claim thousands of lives each year even though there are strict rules in place to prevent truckers from driving while distracted. In recent years there have been approximately 330,000 distracted driving accidents recorded per year. These cause more than 421,000 injuries each year and approximately 9 fatalities every day. When drivers violate rules regarding distractions in the cab of their vehicles, they put other motorists at grave risk for serious injury or death.
Common Causes of Distracted Truck Driving
Truck drivers face many of the same distractions that other drivers face. These include using cell phones while driving, sending text messages, checking emails and updating social media. Truck drivers are also prone to checking their GPS system, adjusting comfort controls, and “gawking” at roadside events.
One of the most common and deadliest driving distractions is texting. Nationwide, it is estimated that up to 25% of motor vehicle accidents are the result of texting while operating a vehicle. In fact, truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident if they text while driving. It is a behavior that is six times deadlier than drinking and driving.
FMCSA Strives to Reduce Distracted Truck Driving Accidents
Since 2009 when reports showed that up to 71% of truck-related crashes involved some form of distracted driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began working to reduce the number of truck driver distractions. Strict enforcement of laws and driving regulations coupled with increased awareness among truck drivers may protect both lives and property down the road.
Educational outreach programs that inform drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and suggest strategies to prevent distracting behaviors, like calibrating GPS prior to a journey, pulling over for eating, and removing cell phones from the cab of the vehicle are being implemented nationwide. The FMCSA and legislators are also encouraging law enforcement agencies to enforce strict penalties for truck drivers who text or talk while driving and place other motorists at risk.
Liability for Distracted Driving Accidents
A truck accident attorney in Illinois can pursue liability for a distracted driving accident against a truck driver or the company they work for. Distracted drivers can be held liable for the property damage, personal injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and other damages that their actions cause.