Commercial trucks are dangerous. Because they are so heavy, they can crunch or crush smaller vehicles when they collide, often on the highway. What is the most common type of truck accident? And how can you protect yourself from falling victim? A Toledo truck accident attorney at Groth & Associates answers these questions below.
Distracted Driving Accidents Are the Most Common
According to a 2009 study, roughly 70% of large-truck collisions involved the driver doing something other than driving. This could be talking on a cell phone, sending a text, eating, talking to a passenger, or fiddling with the radio or controls. Daydreaming or looking at billboards beside the road are also common causes of distraction.
Consequently, around 11,000 large truck collisions happened as a result of some distraction outside the cab. Furthermore, driver inattention was responsible for roughly 80% of all collisions involving large trucks.
We aren’t surprised by any of these statistics. Distracted driving is deadly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has tried to limit trucker distraction. For example, the agency passed a rule prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones by truckers after an agency study found that using a cell phone increased the risk of a critical safety event by 23 times! No one really excels at multitasking—especially when they are driving a big rig at the same time.
Can You Protect Yourself from a Distracted Trucker?
It might be hard. After all, you are not responsible for any of the distractions that confront truckers. But there are certain steps you can take to reach your destination safely:
- Don’t tailgate. A distracted trucker could hit the brakes suddenly when he regains his attention, and you are at risk of an underride accident.
- Honk your horn if you are in a blind spot. This should get the driver’s attention and notify him of your location.
- Pass quickly. Don’t hang out beside the truck for hours; instead, hit the gas and quickly pass the truck. Remember that large commercial trucks have blind spots on each side and directly in front. Once you pass, make sure you are 20 feet ahead of it before pulling into your lane.
- Report dangerous drivers. If a truck is drifting all over the place, the trucker could be distracted or possibly intoxicated. Many trailers have a phone number printed on the back. You can call to report the driver, or else call the police.
We Can Seek Compensation for a Distracted Driving Accident
Anyone hurt in a trucking accident has the right to compensation. However, one challenge is proving the trucker was distracted. If they were on a phone, we might request a copy of cell phone records, which can show when they were using the phone. Other evidence includes the trucker’s own admission of what he was doing before the collision.
Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation
Our legal team can assist anyone struggling to recover from a close encounter with a big rig. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.