Every Chicago truck accident attorney at Levin & Perconti understands the dangers posed by truck operators who do not pay attention to the road. We recently read about a report on TheTrucker.com that highlights the issue of driver distraction in general. The report, Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do, by the Governors Highway Safety Association summarizes distracted driver research (looking at car and truck operators both) and makes recommendations as to what states can do to help reduce the incidence of distracted driving. Examples of distractions mentioned in the report include: cell phones, text messages, talking with passengers, electronic devices, impairment due to drug use, drinking, personal grooming and eating, to name a few.
The prevalence of distracted driving is scary. But when the distracted driver is operating a semi-truck or tractor trailer, the consequences can be devastating. Due to the sheer size of these vehicles, even momentary truck driver distraction can lead to fatal accidents with other motorists. These distractions can cause catastrophic personal injuries not only to people in cars and smaller vehicles, but they can also cause the truckers themselves to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Although there are federal laws in place that ban any operator of a commercial vehicle from texting while driving, trucking companies and owners should also warn drivers who work for them to avoid dangerous practices and distractions. When a driver’s distractions cause an accident and someone else is injured or killed, victims have a right to take action to hold all wrongdoers accountable. The easiest way to avoid a trucking accident lawsuit is to always operate your vehicle with extreme care and caution to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Since 1992, our Illinois injury attorneys have represented clients in all types of accident cases, including trucking accident lawsuits. In November, we settled a case for $6.5 million in which a trucker was distracted because he was under the influence of marijuana when he collided with our client’s vehicle. Our client’s wife, who was only 32, was killed, and our client and his young son sustained serious injuries. This terrible accident could have been avoided if the truck operator practiced safe driving and drove his vehicle with a clear mind.
Most states have taken steps to ban the use of cell-phones and text messaging for all drivers, but until it is widely enforced, we suspect that the number of car and trucking accidents caused by driver distractions such as phones will not decline. We ask all of our readers to avoid risky practices, such as texting while driving, to make the roads safer for everyone.