Trucks are big, heavy and quite capable of causing serious damage when involved in accidents with smaller, lighter vehicles. Regular passenger vehicles and large trucks don't mix, and when they collide, debilitating injuries or even death can occur. Sadly, many Tennessee truck accidents are preventable.
Like drivers of other types of vehicles, truckers are susceptible to distraction. In fact, distraction is a major problem for the trucking industry, and it plays a significant role in a large number of accidents involving semitrailers. Distraction for truckers involves a number of behaviors, and not all of them relate to phone use.
The things that distract truckers
Distraction includes anything that takes a driver's attention from the task at hand. This can come from things both inside and outside of the truck, and can include the following:
- Talking on the phone
- Using a CB radio
- Using any dispatching device
- Adjusting the instrument panel
- Talking to a passenger
- Eating while driving
- Looking at a billboard in passing
These are all behaviors that are rather common and may seem benign. However, anything that removes a driver's attention from driving or requires him or her to remove a hand from the steering wheel is dangerous. In fact, a study done in 2009 estimates that over 70 percent of crashes involving trucks occurred because the trucker was doing something besides driving.
Even removing one's eyes away from the road for a second can result in detrimental, life-altering consequences for innocent motorists. This is especially true for individuals behind the wheel of vehicles capable of inflicting catastrophic damage.
The serious responsibility of truckers
Truckers bear the responsibility of driving safely and cautiously, and one of the first steps in doing is the development and enforcement of safe driving habits. It is possible for truckers to reduce the likelihood of a distraction-related accident by putting down their phones, but also by avoiding other distractions, such as reading a map or using an in-truck navigation system.
If a truck accident left you injured and dealing with other issues, such as medical bills, you do not have to deal with it on your own. You may hold liable parties accountable for their actions, which may include the operation of a semitrailer while distracted. Learning about your legal options as soon as possible after an accident is a good place to start.