Reaching for a Dropped E-Cigarette Causes Fatal AccidentFebruary 19, 2019
One moment of distraction ended in tragedy in early January when a semi-truck driver rear-ended a farm tractor after momentarily taking his eyes off the road to reach for the electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) he had dropped. Unfortunately, the tractor driver suffered severe injuries, and died after being airlifted to a nearby hospital. The truck driver was not hurt.
According to the police report, the truck driver’s e-cigarette fell onto the floorboard of his truck. He reached down to pick it up, taking his eyes off the road. When he returned his attention to the road, he saw the tractor in front of him, and realized that he was not going to be able to slow down in time to avoid rear-ending the tractor.
The truck driver was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. The police sergeant on the scene spoke about the dangers of distracted driving, and urged drivers to stay focused and alert at all times when behind the wheel.
Truck Drivers and Distracted Driving
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following tips can help truck drivers to stay focused and avoid common distractions:
Focus on driving, not objects outside the truck. Billboards, buildings, and other drivers can take a truck drivers’ attention off the road. Truck drivers should only pay attention to the road ahead, and things that are related to driving.
A study found that close to 80 percent of crashes involved distracted driving in the three seconds before a crash.
Avoid texting while driving. This applies to all drivers, but large trucks can cause significantly more damage if they are involved in an accident. Put the phone away. But if you have to make a call or send or read a text, pull over to a safe spot.
Avoid using a dispatching device while driving. The mobile or portable data terminals help drivers communicate with dispatchers. However, using these devices while driving means that the driver is taking his or her attention off the road, increasing the risk of a serious crash. It is just as dangerous as texting while driving.
Do not use a phone while driving. Talking on the phone is also a dangerous distraction for truck drivers. Either pull over before making the call or use a voice-activated hands-free phone or phone app.
Do not look at maps while driving. Despite modern GPS systems, truck drivers may need to consult maps or printed directions as part of the job. This requires a significant amount of attention, which should be on the road ahead.
Do not eat and drink while driving. Every time a driver looks down to take a bite or a drink, their attention is not on the road. People may not realize how dangerous it is to eat or drink while they are driving, but one study found that it is even more dangerous than talking on the phone.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Distracted Driving Truck Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident involving a distracted truck driver, contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.