This blog recently discussed the protections and resources available to victims of distracted drivers. With the problem of distracted driving increasing, you may wonder how serious it is for truck drivers and how many and how often truck drivers are driving distracted? A study from 2009 revealed that in 71 percent of truck accidents, the truck driver was discovered to be doing something other than watching the road. In addition, a 2006 study revealed that inattentive driving was a leading factor in crashes and near crashes and that 80 percent of crashes involve driver inattention three seconds before the accident.

Distracted driving increases the risk of a car or truck accident taking place. Distracted driving activities are competing activities that remove the driver’s attention from the activities the driver should be focused on that help ensure safe driving. This is also true for truck drivers and trucking accidents related to distracted driving. Distractions fall into three main categories, including cognitive, manual and visual and texting while driving is considered an overlap of the three types of distracted driving.

Driver distractions can come from inside our outside of the truck. From inside the truck driver distractions can include texting while driving, dialing a cellphone, using a device to dispatch, adjusting the radio, reading or eating. Outside distractions can include paying attention to visual cues or stimulation other than the roadway. Data collected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that, nationally, 11,000 truck accidents involve external driver distractions.

Distracted driving is dangerous and when it results in a car or truck accident, the damages to victims can be significant and costly. Many distracted driving behaviors are illegal and the legal system additionally provides civil options for injured victims and their families to pursue a claim for damages to help with the physical, financial and emotional costs associated with a truck accident caused by an inattentive truck driver.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “CMV Driving Tips – Driver Distraction,” Accessed Dec. 19, 2016