Accidents involving truck driver negligence are a threat to Bellevue, Wash., residents. In February, Komo News reported an incident in which a woman was struck and killed by a truck in Bellevue. Weather is sometimes to blame when it comes to truck accidents, but many times, truck accidents are caused by distractions. Truck drivers face a plethora of challenges, and below are the top three truck driver distractions that cause truck accidents.
Truck Operation Interfaces
Imagine yourself behind the wheel of a big rig. What does it look like? If you think about it, a truck must have a lot more controls and interfaces to operate it. The average driver doesn’t even drive a car with a manual transmission; just think about how difficult it must be to operate an 80,000-pound vehicle with two reverse and 10 forward gears.
Thankfully, many trucks come equipped with items that help prevent accidents, like warning indicators that tell drivers when they drift out of their lanes. However, innovations like that cannot prevent all human errors.
The average truck weighs about 80,000 pounds, and the average highway speed limit in Washington is 60 miles per hour. With the steep inclines that surround Bellevue and most of its neighboring regions, highway driving in a truck can be an arduous task that takes focus and care. Even if a truck driver travels at the speed limit, it might be difficult to prevent a jackknife accident if certain conditions -- like truck weight and road incline -- are present.
Internal distractions, like sleepiness, can cause drivers to become so unfocused that they cannot control their vehicle. As previously mentioned, most trucks have indicators for lane drifting, but what if the truck driver has to stop short? Trucks already require a lot of forward space to brake, so every moment counts when a trucker is faced with a hard brake. Closed eyes, for even just a few moments, can cause a serious truck accident.
For any driver, using a cell phone while operating a vehicle is risky. However, for a truck driver, the danger is multiplied. If you consider the previously mentioned internal and external distractions compounded with cell phone use, you can understand the hazards.
A report conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found truck drivers' cell phone usage is a paramount danger present on U.S. highways.
The following data the report’s research found showed that a crash event was more likely when a trucker partook of one of these activities:
- listening/talking on a phone: 1.3 times more likely;
- dialing cell phones: 5.9 times more likely;
- reaching for device: 6.7 times more likely; and
- text messaging: 23.2 times more likely.
Text messaging is the biggest danger when it comes to truck drivers and cell phone usage. Washington was the first state to ban text messaging for all drivers in 2007. Max Meyers Law understands that truck drivers have a particular responsibility to follow Washington’s text message law.
Don’t let another driver’s negligence define your life. If you were injured by a distracted truck driver, your life could be marred by economic strife and physical pain. Let a truck accident lawyer handle your claim so that you can recuperate in peace while receiving the monetary damages owed you by the trucking company. Contact us online today.