Study Shows Just How Dangerous Distracted Truck Drivers Are
A Jacksonville Truck Accident Lawyer Examines the Data
Semi-truck drivers should already realize distracted driving increases their odds of causing a truck accident that results in severe or fatal injuries, but a lot of truckers do it anyway.
Distractions aren't just texting and driving or using a cellphone. Drinking, eating, self-grooming, adjusting music, talking with another passenger, rubbernecking, and becoming lost in thought (daydreaming) can all be dangerous and deadly forms of distraction for commercial truck drivers.
A new study has confirmed what many have known all along—the more distracted a trucker is, the higher their chances of causing an accident.
The most distracted truck drivers are about 70% more likely to be involved in a "near collision" than other drivers, according to Omnitracs. The study analyzed "SmartDrive" data to come to this conclusion. SmartDrive is a video-based simulation program with an aim to improve driver awareness and collect information about driving habits.
Among the most common trucker distractions cited in the study are:
- Talking on a handheld mobile phone
- Texting or dialing
- Grooming/personal hygiene
- Operating a mobile device other than a single mobile phone
- Using earphones or headphones (wired or wireless)
- Doing paperwork
- Drinking (coffee, soda, water, etc.)
- Talking on a mobile phone hands-free
It's important to remember that distractions take your attention away from the road ahead. Considering tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, that's a frightening thing to imagine.
Fatal Truck Accident Statistics in Florida
The number of fatal truck accidents is rising dramatically in Florida.
Almost 350 lives were lost in large truck crashes in 2019, according to the most recent information available. Just 10 years ago in 2009, there were 181 such deaths.
Distracted driving is a contributing factor to the surge, but many researchers say that the rise is also related to the state's fast-growing population. State infrastructure projects attempt to keep the roads safe, but many carry far more vehicles than for which they were built.
Florida is a major exporter for the U.S. and is crossed by many high-traffic highways, including:
- State Highway 90
- SH 1
- SH 23
In Duval County, fatal truck accidents most often occur on the Loop (I-295) or nearby its on/off ramps.
But it's not just fast-moving highways where bad truck accidents can happen. State routes, business districts, and neighborhoods can also experience fatal truck crashes caused by negligent truckers.
Consider these scenarios:
- A wide truck turn on Commonwealth Avenue leads to a head-on collision
- An overweight truck rolls over and causes a pileup on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
- An 18-wheeler jackknifes on Beaver Street
The key takeaway is, serious and fatal truck accidents can happen just about anywhere at any time.
Our Law Firm Holds Negligent Truckers Accountable
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident due to negligence, you deserve answers, justice, and financial compensation for your losses. The problem is cases involving big trucks are often high stakes and highly contested, and you're at a severe disadvantage if you try to go up against a trucking company's team of attorneys on your own. That's why you need someone in your corner to level the playing field and look out for your best interests.
At Pajcic & Pajcic, our attorneys have a track record of winning for our clients and securing the compensation they deserve. In fact, we recently made history when we obtained a $1 billion verdict for two of our clients following the tragic death of an 18-year-old college freshman who was killed by two distracted truck drivers.
Learn how we can help you. We are based in Jacksonville, Florida, but we represent victims and their families across the U.S.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.