November 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Is distraction becoming more common with truck drivers?
Tractor trailers and large commercial trucks are a common sight on the roads and freeways around Pittsburgh and many drivers likely have their own stories to tell about close encounters. However, while most truck drivers are aware of their environment and do everything they can to preserve the safety of the road, there are some who are negligent and this can lead to a tragic truck accident
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, heavy trucks were involved in 5,846 crashes during 2010. Over 2,800 of those collisions resulted in injury and 145 were fatal. The report does not track distraction but distracted truck drivers have attracted public attention this year.
Distraction cited as cause for bridge collision
In Maryland, a truck driver admitted being distracted when he allegedly caused a multiple vehicle collision that resulted in one car actually getting pushed off of the bridge into the bay below. While there were no serious injuries
from the crash, victims of the crash have struggled psychologically with the aftereffects; the woman whose car was pushed over the edge has been unable to even drive.
The driver was cited with four traffic violations. He said that he was staring at something behind his truck, in his side view mirror, as traffic in front of him slowed significantly down. The charges are considered misdemeanors, which mean that he will simply pay the small fines associated with them.
Study shows more needed to combat distraction in truck drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration presented a study in 2009 that focused on distraction and commercial drivers. The study took two previously conducted studies and analyzed them together to assemble a thorough picture of driver behaviors. The results of that analysis led to the following suggestions from the FMCSA:
-Drivers should not use dispatching devices while driving.
-Fleet safety managers need to educate their drivers on the dangers of distractive driving.
-Maps should not be used by drivers while the commercial vehicle is in gear.
-Policies should be developed that address the use of in-vehicle devices and control what devices drivers bring with them, such as calculators.
-Companies should design instrument panels that decrease the amount of time a driver has to take their eyes off of the road in front of them.
-Drivers should not use hand-held phones.
The following year, the FMCSA made it a policy to ban texting and driving for its commercial truck and bus drivers, according to distraction.gov. In 2011, the agency added hand-held cell phones to that ban.
Eliminating all sources of distraction
While it is a positive move in the right direction to ban cell phone use, there are many other ways that truck drivers can be distracted. These include fixating on exterior objects, eating, drinking, smoking, reaching for things and looking at maps. When a trucker is distracted from their task, they can cause injuries and death to innocent people. People who are injured because of the actions of a distracted truck driver should talk to an experienced attorney about their story.
Visit us at pittsburghcaraccidentlawyer.org