Avoiding the Most Common Cause of Truck Accident Fatalities: Driver Distraction

California semi-truck accident injuries and fatalities happen every day.

In fact, more than 3,000 fatal accidents in the United States in 2009 involved semi-trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

There are many factors that contribute to truck accidents and their resulting injuries, but one seems to stand out from the rest as the number one cause.

Driver distraction.

All drivers can contribute to accidents by driving distracted, but when it is done by the driver of a large vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or more can be especially dangerous.

Distracted driving can take on many different forms; it is not limited to texting behind the wheel.

That is why the Riverside, California truck accident lawyers at Steinberg Injury Lawyers have compiled a list of some of the most common truck driver distractions, since the firm has encountered many of them as the cause of their clients' injury accidents.

Distractions include:

  • GPS systems. While the navigation systems that many truck drivers choose to use in their cabs are a good way to prevent them from becoming lost, too much attention to the device can cause the drivers to take their eyes off the road. If a route needs to be mapped or an exit number double-checked, it's a good idea to pull over at a truck stop and review the GPS there. 
  • Cell phones. Talking and texting while driving is illegal in California, but it doesn't mean that drivers of all kind of vehicles don't do it anyway. Studies have shown that texting and driving can be more distracting that drinking and driving and can lead to fatal accidents. 
  • Eating. Long hours on the road and the desire to arrive at their destinations as quick as possible mean that truck drivers often eat behind the wheel. While it may not seem like a huge distraction to some drivers, eating while driving can be dangerous if it prevents the truck driver from watching the road for even a second.
  • Fatigue. Lack of sleep and drowsiness can cause even the most seasoned, attentive truck driver to be distracted behind the wheel. And many times, the energy drinks and pills marketed to long-haul truckers only make drivers more tired after the effects wear off.

 

Remember that these tips apply not only to truck drivers, but to anyone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Help avoid serious California truck accident fatalities by putting down the phone, getting a good night's sleep, and stopping for a food break instead of eating on the road. You might just save a life.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers at 800.989.6385 for your free copy of their book, Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case. You can also fill out our online form to set up a complimentary case evaluation.

Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982