Distracted Driving Truck Accidents in San Mateo

Distracted Driving Truck Accidents in San Mateo

Everyone knows it is unsafe to divert your attention from the road when driving. Laws against various forms of distracted driving, particularly cell phone use and texting, are well-publicized and strictly enforced in many communities.

However, the drivers who can do the most damage—truck drivers—sometimes drive while distracted. Every year negligent truckers cause a significant number of accidents, leading to fatalities and severe injuries.

Obtaining appropriate compensation after a distracted driving truck accident in San Mateo requires the help of a seasoned legal team. Our truck crash attorneys know how to locate evidence proving a trucker was insufficiently attentive and leverage that evidence to achieve an appropriate settlement.

Distraction is a Significant Cause of Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits drivers of commercial vehicles from texting or using a handheld device while operating their rigs. California Vehicle Code § 23123.5 makes it illegal to use a handheld electronic device while driving.

Cell phone use is not the only thing that could distract a trucker. Other activities that could engage a driver’s attention at the expense of safety include:

  • Smoking
  • Grooming
  • Eating and drinking
  • Consulting the GBS
  • Adjusting heating or cooling in the cab
  • Using the satellite radio to speak with other truckers

Using the truck’s electronic systems could distract a truck driver and take their attention off the road. Truckers often drive many hours in a row and may need help staying alert. For this reason, they may be more likely to engage in activities while driving that could divert their attention from the safe handling of their vehicle, thus causing accidents in San Mateo.

How Distraction Causes Truck Accidents

It takes a truck traveling at highway speeds almost six seconds to come to a complete stop, and in that time, it will cover the distance of a football field. When a trucker takes their eyes off the road for just a few seconds, disastrous consequences are possible.

A distracted trucker is more likely to speed, which increases the time and distance required to bring the vehicle to a stop. When a trucker must brake suddenly, the likelihood of the brakes or wheels locking increases at higher speeds. Speeding trucks are less stable and more prone to rollovers on curves. Speeding can increase the possibility of load shift, leading to a potential jackknife accident.

Trucks have large blind spots on all four sides and the trucker must maintain awareness of other vehicles nearby. Most modern trucks have cameras to view blind spots and automated systems to respond to lane incursions, but a distracted driver depending on those systems to keep track of nearby vehicles risks a serious truck accident in San Mateo.

Proving a Truck Driver Was Distracted

Whenever an injured person brings a claim against a trucker after an accident, they must prove the trucker was negligent. Proof the trucker was distracted is evidence of negligence.

Occasionally a trucker will admit to using a cell phone and receive a citation, which is evidence of negligence. However, truckers are trained not to acknowledge responsibility for an accident, so it is more likely that a San Mateo attorney would need to investigate to find proof a driver was distracted.

A legal professional could subpoena the driver’s cell phone records to establish whether they were using their phone when the accident happened. Most trucks also have cameras that record a view of the cab, which can provide information on what a driver was doing immediately before a crash. Accident victims should secure legal representation as quickly as possible before valuable evidence is lost or destroyed.

Contact a San Mateo Attorney About Pursuing Damages After a Distracted Truck Driver Crash

Distracted driving truck accidents in San Mateo often cause severe injuries, and you might need a long time to recover. When you engage an attorney soon after the incident, they can investigate the crash, identify responsible parties, and assert claims for damages while you regain your health. They also could handle all communication with the trucking company and its insurance carrier, relieving you of the stress of negotiations.

Do not try to manage a truck accident claim without seasoned legal counsel. Call now to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case.

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