Truck-Related Traffic Accidents Inversely Proportional to Driver Awareness, Alertness
A large number of car, truck and motorcycle accidents take place simply due to driver error. Naturally, there are occasions when a roadway accident takes place due to other factors, like a defective traffic light, or faulty truck part or component. But every year it is driver negligence -- whether the result of carelessness, haste, thoughtless behavior or basic inattention -- that takes the lives of tens of thousands of innocent victims all across the country.
As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, the professionals at the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, know that many traffic “accidents” do not necessarily result simply due to bad luck or unfortunate timing. In general, those supposed “honest” mistakes that occur quite often on Maryland highways and byways can often be the cause of some of the most tragic, yet preventable, roadway accidents.
Except for cases in which the overtly deliberate actions of one driver leads to a traffic wreck -- incidents involving “road rage” come immediately to mind -- the more frequent cause of serious crashes can be attributed to some kind of distraction on the driver’s part. Even when it comes to professional truck drivers, the use of smart phones and other electronic devices can present a serious threat to the motoring public. These days, there is a significant portion of drivers -- individuals of all ages -- who fall into the category, at one time or another, of distracted drivers.
Naturally, eliminating driver distraction should go a long way toward improving safety on the beltway, interstate and city streets. Here in Maryland, as well as in the District of Columbia, a large percentage of roadway collisions do involve distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as traffic safety researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution, nearly 80 percent of all car accidents can be traced to some amount of distraction on one driver’s part.
As we have mentioned before, commercial truckers are not immune to the effects of distracted driving, as well as other causes of serious highway collisions. Researchers have found that one of the most common distractions is cellphone or smartphone use. Studies have determined that the cause of road accidents tend to be split between driver distraction as a result of dialing a phone and the act of actually talking on the device.
Aside from very apparent distractions, such as cell phones and other electronic devices used by drivers, drowsy driving is also known to be a significant factor in many trucking-related traffic wrecks. These kinds of accidents are most often caused as the direct result of driver fatigue or severe lack of sleep. The NHTSA has also determined that many more accidents are the result of so-called “recognition errors” in which drivers fail to realize and react to certain critical driving cues. For truckers, and the general public, these kinds of driving errors can prove to be fatal when they take place on high speed interstates.
At the law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, our legal staff has experience in helping victims of commercial trucking collisions who have been seriously injured due to truck driver negligence. If there is anything we would suggest to motorists hoping to avoid such dangerous traffic situations in the future, it would be to increase the awareness of traffic, roadway and weather conditions whenever one is traveling on a public road.
In one NHTSA study, researchers found that over 40 percent of all motorists admitted to having committed some kind of recognition-related driving error over the course of their lifetime. These situations included basic driver inattention, in-vehicle driver distraction, or instances when the motorist’s attention was diverted by something occurring outside of his or her vehicle. Furthermore, failure to adequately observe immediate traffic conditions also turned out to be a fundamental mistake on the part of some drivers.
As mentioned earlier, commercial truck drivers are hardly unaffected by the distractions that affect most every motorist on our nation’s roadways. Nearly all electronic devices used inside a car or commercial motor vehicle (CMV) can provide sufficient diversion of one’s attention, especially when combined with other traffic-related distractions, that even a professional truck driver may lose sufficient concentration to cause a serious accident.
The following are a few suggestions that may help Maryland motorists from becoming involved in a severe or life-threatening roadway collision in the future:
- Increase one’s attention to those events unfolding ahead of the vehicle
- Reduce the frequency of “non-specific” eye-glances away from traffic conditions ahead of your vehicle
- Reduce the number of “secondary tasks” one does while operating one’s vehicle on the roadway
- Reduce the likelihood of driver fatigue or drowsiness by getting sufficient sleep, etc.
As Baltimore trucking accident lawyers and experienced personal injury attorneys, the trained professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand the ease with which modern electronic devices can distract individuals behind the wheel of a car or truck. However, understanding that distracted driving occurs very frequently is hardly an excuse to ignore the situation when it does take place. As professional litigators experienced in this area of the law, we fight hard for the rights of traffic accident victims.
If someone you love has been badly hurt in a serious commercial trucking accident, whether caused by driver distracting, drowsy driving or other negligent act, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen is ready to offer assistance. For victims of trucking-related injury accidents, our skilled staff will work with insurance companies to secure past, present and future medical expenses, as well as lost wages resulting from extended hospitalization or permanent disability. Please contact our law office at (800) 654-1949 to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our helpful attorneys. You may also email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to set up a one-on-one meeting to review your trucking injury case.