Trucking is a vital and demanding job that requires focus. Unfortunately, many truck drivers face distractions that can lead to dangerous accidents.
Understanding what distractions cause truck drivers to crash can help you recover compensation after an accident. The Michigan truck crash lawyers at Fieger Law can help you prove negligence and receive a fair settlement from the truck driver and the trucking company for your injuries.
The Three Types of Driver Distraction
According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) study, 87% of accidents involving large trucks were caused by driver error, including internal and external distractions.
The CDC outlines three types of driver distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. These distractions can cause a truck driver to make dangerous mistakes that may result in life-altering injuries for those involved in the collision.
- Visual: Visual distraction occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road. This can happen when a driver looks at a cell phone, GPS, or a passenger. Visual distractions can lead to accidents because the driver cannot respond to sudden changes in road conditions or other hazards.
- Manual: Manual distraction occurs when a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel. This happens when a driver reaches for an object, including eating or drinking, while driving. Manual distractions often lead to poor driving decisions, which made up 38% of accidents in the FMCSA study. This can include following other vehicles too closely or being unable to control the truck or respond to sudden changes in the road.
- Cognitive: Cognitive distractions occur when a driver’s mind is not focused on driving. This can happen when a driver daydreams, talks on the phone, or listens to distracting music. Cognitive distractions can lead to recognition errors like not reacting quickly enough to respond to hazards on the road. These accounted for 28% of accidents, according to the FMCSA study.
Common Distractions That Cause a Trucker to Crash
Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, and it’s not uncommon for them to experience distractions that can lead to accidents.
Common distractions for truck drivers include:
- Talking on Cell Phones: Talking on cell phones is a major distraction for truck drivers. Using a phone while driving can reduce a driver’s reaction time and increase the risk of accidents.
- Fatigue: Driving long hours without adequate rest can cause fatigue, reduce concentration, and cause slower reaction times.
- Daydreaming: Long hours of driving can cause truck drivers to daydream, resulting in a loss of focus on the road and a failure to react to hazards.
- Grooming/Personal Hygiene: Some truck drivers engage in personal grooming while driving, such as shaving or applying makeup, which can lead to accidents.
- Programming Navigation Systems: Truck drivers often rely on navigation systems to find their destinations. Programming navigation systems while driving can distract truck drivers, taking their focus off the road and causing accidents.
- Eating or Drinking: Eating and drinking while driving can cause truck drivers to take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and lose focus, leading to accidents.
- Adjusting CB Radios: Truck drivers often use CB radios to communicate with other drivers. Adjusting CB radios while driving can be a dangerous distraction for truck drivers. It takes their eyes and hands off the road and heightens the risk of accidents.
Navigating the legal system in a personal injury lawsuit can be complex, and victims of truck accidents may require experienced legal representation to help them protect their rights. Truck company insurers often use aggressive tactics to try to intimidate victims into settling for less than they deserve.
Our truck crash attorneys at Fieger Law have extensive experience handling truck accident cases and are committed to fighting for your rights and maximizing a settlement for your injuries.
Michigan Law Holds Negligent Truckers Accountable
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, seek legal assistance to hold the negligent truck drivers accountable and recover damages for your losses.
Contact Fieger Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how our attorneys can help you file your claim and negotiate with the trucking company for maximum compensation.