Can I sue after a Santa Monica semi-truck accident if the truck driver was eating behind the wheel?

While eating and driving isn’t illegal in Santa Monica, distracted driving causes hundreds of semi-truck accidents per year—and if the truck driver took his hands off the wheel (or his eyes off the road), you may be able to file a claim against him for negligent driving.

Here are a few ways eating and driving can lead to a truck crash:

  • Wrappers. Nearly every fast food item will come wrapped in paper, requiring two hands to unwrap and eat. Even if the trucker takes the precaution of unwrapping foods before setting off, he may begin to “fish around” in the bag for fries, sauces, utensils, or napkins, taking more of his attention away from the road.
  • Spills. Many “reaction” crashes are caused by a driver’s sudden response to something inside the car, such as a bee flying in the window, a stone cracking the windshield—or liquid from a beverage spilling onto him or her.
  • Dropped objects. Not only can food items spill in the cab of a big rig, they can also become lodged under the brake or gas pedal, affecting the driver’s ability to stop before causing a crash. These dangers of loose items becoming lodged in the footwell or obstructing a driver’s view increase as empty food and drink containers are allowed to build up in the cab.
  • Mechanics. Even when a driver is able to successfully eat a meal while driving, his concentration on the road ahead is still compromised. He may be able to eat without looking at his food, but eating without using at least one hand is nearly impossible, affecting both the driver’s control and reaction time.

If the trucker who hit you was distracted, you should have the incident investigated as soon as possible to find out what you may be owed. Order our free guide, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, or click the contact link on this page to find our office location nearest to you.