While distracted driving does not appear to have reached the same levels
of concern for truckers as it has for regular motorists, it is still drawing
attention from national agencies. Federal agencies have launched campaigns
to encourage commercial truck drivers to lower the number of truck accidents
occurring in Fairfield County and elsewhere.
In 2009, tractor trailers were involved in 2,466 accidents according to
the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Out of these accidents,
472 involved injuries and 13 were fatal. It is unknown how many of these
accidents were caused by a truck driver who was distracted by something.
Are truck drivers becoming more distracted?
Recently, a truck driver caused a four-vehicle collision when he became
distracted according to the CT Post. Thankfully, while the drivers of
the other cars suffered injuries, they were not severe and no one was
killed. It is unknown what caused the trucker's attention to be drawn
away from the road.
It is a well-known fact that truck drivers spend a great amount of their
time in their truck and this can create a situation where the driver is
multi-tasking-something that is not advised. A September 2009 report on
commercial truck driver distraction by the U.S. Department of Transportation,
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, acknowledged that truck drivers
were not immune to the behavior.
The findings of the report showed that more effort was needed on the part
of fleet managers to educate drivers on the high risks associated with
The extent of distracted driving
According to the FMCSA, anything that causes a truck driver to take his
or her eyes off of the road is considered distracted driving. These behaviors include:
- Reading maps
- Focusing on external objects outside of the truck
- Cell phone use
- Using instrument panels or dispatch equipment
The agency quoted that a recent study showed that eating and driving at
the same time can put a driver at a higher risk of being distracted and
getting into an accident than using a cell phone. This can be a big challenge
for truckers since they are on a time schedule and may be tempted to eat
on the go.
Seeking compensation in a distracted driving accident
When a person is injured in a car accident involving a tractor trailer
they can face months of recovery and thousands of dollars in expenses.
Therefore, it may be necessary for them to file a personal injury lawsuit
against the truck company and the driver for compensation. The compensation
can pay doctors' bills, vehicle replacement, loss of income, and other
damages allowed under Connecticut law. If you are injured by a negligent
or distracted truck driver, you should talk to an attorney experienced
with commercia l truck accidents to learn more about the legal process.