Drivers that do not devote their full attention to the road put others with whom they share the roadways at risk, but this risk is never greater than when the vehicle being operated by a distracted driver is an 80,000 pound fully loaded tractor-trailer combination. A prominent Kentucky tractor-trailer accident in 2010 that was widely reported by the national media provides a compelling example of the life-altering impact of distracted truck drivers. The truck driver crossed into oncoming traffic before colliding head on with a passenger van. Ten vehicle occupants in the van had their joyous caravan to a family wedding instantly turned into a terrible tragedy when they died in the collision.
The Kentucky tragedy made national news when it was revealed that the truck driver had made dozens of cell phone calls prior to the collision including moments before the fatal crash. The tragedy led to a recommendation by federal safety regulators that all use of cell phones be prohibited from use when commercial drivers are behind the wheel. Although new regulations limiting cell phone use by those driving tractor-trailers may help prevent such tragedies in the future, there are still an enormous number of driving distractions that can contribute to devastating commercial trucking collisions. Some of these distractions may include:
- Eating and drinking
- Communicating on a CB
- Entering information into a GPS device
- Checking email or surfing the web
- Reaching for items in the cab of the tractor-trailer
While this is only a short list of potential distractions, the key is that even slightly diverting one’s eyes or mind from the roadway or hands from the steering wheel can have damaging long-term consequences. Despite the increased risk of driver distractions when operating a vehicle with the length and weight of a tractor-trailer, truck drivers may be tempted to engage in such activity because they spend so much time driving. A tractor-trailer takes longer to brake and to respond to steering maneuvers than a small passenger vehicle so even a brief moment of distraction can cause permanent debilitating injuries.
Sometimes evidence that a truck driver was distracted may be preserved in the black box data recorder that many tractor-trailers have onboard. The device may record sudden application of the brakes immediately before the collision which may reveal that the driver did not see an obstacle until it was too late because the driver was not paying attention. Our experienced Tennessee tractor-trailer combination attorneys at the Nahon Firm have the experience and expertise to investigate trucking accident crashes to uncover evidence of distracted truck driving. At the Nahon Firm, PLC, we will fight to help you win your Tennessee tractor-trailer accident case. We treat our clients with the utmost compassion and respect. Call us today and speak with a Nashville tractor-trailer accident attorney to discuss the details of your case at (615) 324-2000.
- Distracted Commercial Trucks in Tennessee Still Pose Serious Danger
- The Danger Posed by Overloaded and Improperly Loaded Tractor-Trailers
- Federal Regulations Regarding Texting Truck Drivers
- Devastating Results of Tennessee Truck Drivers Putting Speed before Safety
- Distracted Truck Driving Accidents