Ours is a society on the go. From the convenience of online ordering to the necessity of grabbing food at a drive thru window, individuals are accustomed to the combination of multitasking and instant gratification. Truck drivers, unfortunately, are just as susceptible to these temptations as regular commuters on our Pennsylvania highways.
Truck drivers are often held to a strict delivery schedule that might not allow them to simply stop and enjoy a relaxing meal when they are hungry. While they are carefully regulated in how long they can drive between breaks, a driver is likely to eat a snack, or drink a coffee or soda on the road. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), eating and drinking can increase the odds of a vehicle accident by 80%.
Additionally, the study concluded that 65% of near-miss accidents were caused by distracted drivers who were preoccupied by food or drinks.
It is not uncommon for truck drivers to have a box of snacks, a cooler of soda or a thermos of coffee in the cab with them. Eating and drinking, unfortunately is a serious distraction for drivers. From taking your eyes off the road to select a snack to taking your hand off the steering wheel to grab a caffeinated drink, it can represent a manual, cognitive and visual distraction. Drivers can experience a reduced reaction time to stopped traffic, road debris or other driving hazards.
Distracted driving can lead to catastrophic injuries and devastating property damage. Due to the size and weight disparity, collisions caused by 18-wheelers can demolish other vehicles leading to severe – often fatal – injuries. If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is crucial that you discuss your situation with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible.