Proving Distracted Driving in a Trucker: 6 Tips

By  //  October 27, 2020

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Distracted driving involves engaging in any activities that divert the drivers’ attention from driving. The consequences of distracted truck driving are often devastating. One of the most common distractions is texting while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that a distracted truck driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. 

It is illegal for all truckers to text and drive. Failure to obey this law is endangering your life and other road users. It is important to be attentive at all times as distracted driving poses a lot of dangers for truck drivers.

Many truck drivers operate under tight deadlines and long working hours. As a result, they often lack enough time to stop for a meal. Instead, they buy food and drinks and eat while behind the wheel. Despite the nature of their schedules, this is a dangerous habit, and it is believed to be more dangerous than using the phone while driving.

Another example of common truck driver distractions is using dispatch services.

Large truck drivers often use the equipment in different ways, including:

Communication

Keeping logs

Checking directions

These tools are vital for all truckers, but using them while you’re behind the wheel can be dangerous. Road safety experts estimate that drivers who use the devices are nine times more likely to cause crashes. In some cases, a trucker may need to take some notes or go through printed directions while driving, but you should always pull over before doing so.

How do you prove distracted driving in a truck accident? Here are some tips for you:

Police Reports

When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they file reports that explain the circumstances of a truck accident. In some cases, the report may include a preliminary assessment of the fault.

If the report is completed soon after an incident, it can be submitted as evidence in a court of law. If you noticed a trucker was using their phone or other forms of distractions before the accident, inform the police officer at the scene. The officers may also testify during a lawsuit if they witnessed the distraction.

Admitting Fault

It’s always advisable to avoid admitting fault after an auto accident. However, some truckers still admit guilt and may reveal that they were distracted before a crash. This isn’t always admissible in a court of law. However, it may be helpful when pursuing out-of-court settlements.

Witness Statements

Bystanders and other passengers in the vehicles involved in an accident may become witnesses during a truck accident lawsuit. Once the police have arrived at the scene after the incident, one of their duties is to record witness statements. The witnesses can also testify about a trucker’s distracted driving during court proceedings.

The Drivers’ Cell Phone Records

Text messages are often used as evidence to prove distracted driving by truck drivers. The court may ask for the drivers’ cell phone records before a crash occurred. If the records are available, this is strong evidence for the victims.

Images and Video Footages

Video footage can be extracted from different sources, including cell phones from other road users, surveillance equipment, and dash cams. Such evidence is often used during truck accident cases to prove the driver was distracted before a crash.

Gathering Evidence at the Scene

When a serious accident occurs, many drivers don’t think about gathering evidence. One of the most effective ways to prove distraction on the part of a trucker is to make sure you gather as much evidence as possible after an accident. Evidence collected from the scene is more reliable and improves the chances of getting compensation for the victims of a crash.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries and you believe the trucker was distracted before the collision, you may want to consider reaching out to an attorney who can protect your rights. These accidents can result in serious injuries and significant damages, so this is no time to try to represent yourself during negotiations. 

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