We hear and read about truck collisions occurring multiple times a month in the state of Pennsylvania all for various reasons. Some are caused by careless motorists who aren’t being cautious when driving around these large trucks while others are directly caused by the truck drivers themselves. Ironically, most of the wrecks that transpire are preventable. If both truck operators and drivers of passenger vehicles were to follow the rules of the roadway and avoid engaging in distracted behavior, we would likely see a decrease in the number of collisions that are reported.
Now, because our Erie, PA truck accident lawyers have witnessed firsthand how severe truck accidents can be, we believe it is necessary to share with those truck operators out there some of the most common types of distractions that often lead to a semi or tractor-trailer truck collision occurring. This way, you know what types of behavior you should refrain from engaging in which will reduce the chances of causing one of these devastating wrecks to transpire.
- Don’t get distracted by outside objects. While it is understandable that you might grow tired of looking at the roadway for hours and hours each day, don’t let the objects around you deter your attention away from the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), after the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collected data for three years, they found that “an estimated 11,000 truck crashes nationwide involved distractions external to the truck cab.” Therefore, avoid looking at the enticing billboards that might be up as those few seconds you use to glance up at it could be the few when traffic comes to an abrupt stop.
- Refrain from using your phone for texting, talking, or streaming anything that could take your attention off the road. As you are probably already aware, it is extremely dangerous to use your cell phone while operating any type of vehicle. In fact, just last year, a truck driver was charged with felony homicide by vehicle along with five other offenses after he collided into the back of a motorcycle [Source: Fox 43]. The driver of the bike suffered fatal injuries while his passenger also suffered injuries as well. Although the trucker claimed he was looking at new housing construction moments before he hit the biker, dash cam footage from inside the vehicle showed that the driver had been streaming a football game on his smartphone or on another electronic device. Police also obtained audio from inside the truck where they could hear what sounded like commentary of a football game, says the news source.
Therefore, rather than put your life and freedom at risk along with the lives of those traveling around you, avoid using your cell phone or any other type of electronic device while operating your semi or big rig.
- Never use a dispatching device while driving. The FMCSA says these devices, which allow you to communicate with other drivers and even help you navigate, can cause you to “take your eyes, hands, and mind away from driving safely.”
- Do not read, write, or use a paper map while driving. Reading and writing require a significant amount of your attention and are not things you should be doing while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Although paper maps are a bit outdated as our cell phones and GPS devices now have the capability of helping us get around, there may be times when those devices fail us which might require you to then read a paper map. In the event you must, pull over to a safe area before attempting to look at the map. The same applies when you are using a GPS device. Never attempt to
program your GPS system once you have already taken off. Instead, set it prior to your departure and pull over if you need to change your end route destination.
- Never eat or drink while driving. As harmless as it might seem, this is yet another form of distraction that you don’t want to engage in. Suppose you drop food on your clothes or your drink spills, your first reaction is going to take your eyes off the road which can be one move that can have a devastating outcome.
To help further prove our point as to why you should never allow anything to distract you while operating your vehicle, keep in mind that each day in the U.S., approximately nine people die and more than 1,000 suffer injuries in accidents that involve a distracted driver” [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].
Now, if you have been involved in a truck collision that occurred in Erie, PA and you would like to find out what your legal rights are and how you should proceed forward, contact USAttorneys.com so that you can be connected with a lawyer in your area. Our Erie, PA truck crash attorneys are some of the most experienced in the field and will be glad to take the time to address any concerns or questions you might have.