Truck Driver Distraction In California Attracting Attention

When people in Los Angeles County think about distracted driving there are probably many images that come to mind and those images often involve passenger car drivers. However, it has become clear recently that driver distraction is a problem with truck drivers, and when a truck driver is distracted from the task at hand, the results can be deadly.

This was evidenced in the spring when a distracted trucker caused a truck accident near Davis that left two people dead and three people injured, according to KCRA. The accident happened after the trucker choked on food he was eating while driving. As a result, he lost consciousness and the truck veered across the lanes of I-80, ending up on the other side of the dividing barrier in the opposite lane of traffic. The path of destruction left two clipped cars and a totaled third vehicle; the two men inside that vehicle were killed.

Distraction A Real Risk For Commercial Drivers

In 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a report on driver distraction and commercial truck vehicles. The report was based on a study conducted that examined distractions which exist for commercial drivers and revealed the following:

  • 71 percent of crashes were caused by nondriving activity.
  • Risk for causing an accident was heightened by complex tasks.
  • High-risk activities involved drivers of commercial vehicles taking their eyes off the road.
  • Fleet managers and companies need to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving.
  • Actions need to be taken to minimize the number of distractions that a commercial driver faces.

The report also provided valuable information that indicates which distracted driving behaviors were the riskiest for commercial drivers. Those behaviors considered the riskiest included rummaging through a bag, looking at a dispatch device, using a map, reaching for an item, and trying to write or using a calculator.

Government Agencies Are Concerned

Many government agencies are trying to educate drivers on the dangers of doing other things while behind the wheel of a car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a website called distraction.gov that talks about the risks drivers take when they engage in distracted driving behaviors, providing information on studies conducted, state laws and valuable statistics.

The Governors Highway Safety Association also points out the dangers associated with distracted driving. The GHSA points out that there are four kinds of distractions that drivers should avoid and these are: visual, manual, cognitive and auditory. When the trucker caused the fatal accident near Davis, he was engaging in manual distraction by reaching for food, visual distraction in that he probably had to look down occasionally to locate the food or drink, and cognitive since he was likely focused more on the food than what was going on in front of him.

It is important for truckers to realize that when they engage in behavior that distracts them from the road, they have the potential to create a car accident. If you have been the victim of a truck accident, you should talk with an attorney experienced in personal injury law to make sure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation that you may be entitled to.

Free Consultation With A Lawyer

To discuss an accident case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., by calling 626-593-9031. We have offices in Monrovia and Los Angeles.