Distracted driving is not only extremely dangerous, but it is also one of the leading causes of truck accidents in Washington. Yet the number of distracted drivers continues to rise, and more and more people are losing their lives to these senseless and avoidable acts.
Distracted driving is when a truck driver is participating in any other activity other than driving. The activity is considered a distraction because it takes their full attention away from the main task, which is driving. When a person is driving while distracted, they are unable to focus completely on the road, pay attention to their surroundings, and remain alert about what is going on. This can lead to a dangerous and deadly truck accident within seconds. Here are a few examples of distracted driving among truck drivers:
- Talking to a passenger/helper while driving
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Texting while driving
- Browsing the internet while driving
- Looking in the mirror while driving
- Reaching for something while driving
- Drinking or eating food while driving
- Messing with a GPS system while driving
- Changing the radio or air conditioning controls while driving
- Adjusting an electronic dispatching device
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Traffic Commission, it is against the law for any driver to engage in distracted driving, and people caught doing so will be fined.
Most people do not realize how many distractions truck drivers face when driving from point A to point B. In fact, they spend most of their time in their trucks away from their families and loved ones, making it more difficult to refrain from playing with their electronic devices or smartphones.
What is the most common type of distracted driving among truckers in Kennewick?
The most common type of distracted driving among truckers is talking and texting while driving. Washington has made efforts to combat these issues by passing the Driving Under Influence of Electronics Act and raising its fines. In addition, state troopers are constantly looking for drivers who appear to be on their phones or texting and driving. By 2030, they hope to significantly reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities caused by using electronic devices.
It is currently against the law for any driver to hold their cell phone while driving in Washington. The only time you can use your cell phone is if you are contacting emergency services or are parked and away from traffic. If you are caught with your cell phone, you will receive a first-time fine of $136. However, if you are caught another time within five years from the first offense, your fine will be $234. Other types of distractions will result in a $99 fine.
Some people do not take distracted driving fines seriously. Therefore, the state of Washington takes these offenses to the next level and reports them to individuals’ insurance companies.
There are only three ways in which you can use a mobile device while driving in Washington and they are as follows:
- Making a call to emergency services
- Using a hands-free device that allows you to call using a single swipe of your finger
- The vehicle is parked or otherwise not near the flow of traffic
Washington distracted driving statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 300 fatalities involving distracted driving in Washington from 2018 to 2020, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission states that drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident when they are talking on their cellular devices.
When it comes to distracted truck drivers, the statistics are just as alarming. For example, truck drivers using their cell phones are two times more likely to be involved in collisions, and they are almost three times more likely to run stop lights and stop signs.
Proving a distracted truck driver was negligent
Distracted truck drivers who cause accidents and injuries are considered negligent, but this must be proven. At Telaré Law, our Kennewick attorneys have the skills and experience to help you demonstrate negligence. We will do so by establishing four different factors, which include the following:
- Duty of care: The distracted truck driver had an obligation to drive safely and focus on the roads.
- Breach: The distracted truck driver breached this duty of care by not driving safely and focusing on the roads.
- Causation: The breach directly caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages due to the truck driver’s negligent behavior.
One of the most difficult parts of proving negligence is showing that the distracted truck driver breached their duty. A common argument against this is that there were other factors that led to the victim’s injuries. However, our personal injury lawyers know these tactics and will stand up to protect your right to the compensation you deserve.
Losses caused by distracted truck driving accidents in Kennewick
There are many different damages distracted truck driving victims can claim. When you are determining your losses, you should think about every way that the accident has negatively affected your life. The following are a few of the common types of losses that our clients have claimed:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Home modifications
- Daily services
- Physical and psychological therapy
Unfortunately, as soon as your distracted driving truck accident occurs, the clock begins ticking on how long you have to file a lawsuit. Therefore, it is important that you reach out to Telaré Law as quickly as possible to protect your rights. We offer free consultations at our Kennewick and Richland offices and will be glad to schedule your appointment at your earliest convenience. Please call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.