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Distracted Driving Truck Accident Lawyers in Arizona

Distracted driving has become a major concern in recent years due to the increasing use of mobile devices and other distractions within the car. The number of accidents each year directly caused by distracted driving has been rising alarmingly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, distracted driving caused approximately 3,522 fatal crashes and 362,415 injury crashes in 2021 alone.

These statistics highlight the significant impact distracted driving has on road safety. However, it is important to note that accurate numbers can be challenging to determine as not all accidents explicitly state that distraction was the cause. The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or even adjusting the stereo. These activities increase the risk of accidents by taking the driver’s focus away from the road, creating dangerous situations.

Why Is Distracted Truck Driving So Dangerous?

Distracted truck driving is extremely dangerous for several reasons. First and foremost, trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, which means that any accident they are involved in is likely to be more severe. A truck’s sheer size and weight can cause devastating damage to smaller vehicles and result in serious injuries or fatalities. When truck drivers are distracted, their reaction time is significantly slower, making it more difficult for them to avoid collisions or other dangerous situations.

It’s also recognized that the stopping distance for a truck is much longer than that of a smaller vehicle. This means that if a truck driver is distracted and suddenly needs to brake, it will take them a longer time and distance to come to a complete stop. This increases the risk of rear-ending another vehicle or losing control of the truck, especially when sudden braking is required, such as in traffic or when encountering unexpected hazards on the road.

Truck drivers are responsible for controlling a vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and they need to constantly monitor their surroundings, assess road conditions, and make split-second decisions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. When truck drivers are distracted by texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-cab technology, their ability to effectively perform these tasks is compromised, putting themselves and others at risk.

Additionally, the long hours and monotonous nature of truck driving can contribute to driver fatigue, making distractions even more dangerous. Fatigue impairs cognitive function and slows down reaction times, making it more likely for a distracted truck driver to make critical errors or lapse in attention, leading to devastating accidents.

If you’ve been injured in an accident you believe was caused by a distracted truck driver, call the distracted driving truck accident lawyers at Torgenson Law for a confidential consultation. We will evaluate your case and determine the best path forward for obtaining compensation for your damages.

Common Types of Distracted Driving in Arizona

Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that can have severe consequences on the road, and truck drivers are not exempt from this risk. Several common types of distracted driving can affect truck drivers, and understanding these behaviors can help raise awareness and promote safer practices.

  • Electronic devices. One common type of distracted driving among truck drivers is using electronic devices. This includes activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or using GPS navigation systems while driving. These actions require visual, cognitive, and manual attention, all of which are crucial for safe driving. When drivers divert their attention to a screen or device, their reaction time slows down, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Physical distractions. Another form of distraction for truck drivers is physical distractions. This encompasses actions like eating or drinking, reaching for objects, or adjusting vehicle controls while driving. These activities take drivers’ hands off the steering wheel and divert their focus away from the road, making it difficult to react quickly to potential hazards.
  • Mental distractions. Cognitive distractions can also negatively impact truck drivers. This involves any activity that takes their mind off driving, such as daydreaming, engaging in deep conversations, or being preoccupied with personal matters. When a driver’s mind is not fully focused on the road, they might miss crucial signs or fail to react appropriately to changing traffic conditions.

How Can a Lawyer Determine a Truck Driver Was Distracted?

Determining if distracted truck driving caused an accident can be complex, requiring a thorough investigation and analysis of various pieces of evidence. Here are a few ways to determine if distracted truck driving played a role in the accident:

  • Eyewitness testimony. Witness statements can provide valuable insight into the behaviors of the truck driver leading up to the accident. If multiple witnesses observe the driver using their phone, eating, or engaging in any other distracting activity, it can support the claim of distracted driving.
  • Black box data. Trucks are often equipped with event data recorders, commonly referred to as “black boxes,” which record important information such as vehicle speed, braking patterns, and the use of indicators. This data can indicate whether the truck driver was engaged in distracting activities at the time of the accident.
  • Phone records. Obtaining the truck driver’s phone records is crucial to determining if they were using their phone at the time of the accident. Phone records can reveal whether they were texting, making calls, or using other smartphone applications while driving.
  • Police investigation. Law enforcement officials will conduct their own investigation at the accident scene. This may include taking photographs, obtaining measurements, and interviewing the parties involved. Their report can provide valuable information about the cause of the accident, including any indications of distracted driving.
  • Video footage. Many commercial trucks are equipped with dashboard cameras or are captured on nearby surveillance cameras. Accessing and reviewing such footage can help determine if the truck driver was distracted prior to the accident. Videos from other drivers or witnesses can also provide evidence of distracted driving.
  • Expert analysis. Sometimes, it may be necessary to seek expert assistance in determining if distracted driving caused the accident. Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the evidence, including skid marks, debris patterns, and vehicle positions, to provide an expert opinion on the cause of the accident.

It is important to note that determining if distracted truck driving caused an accident requires a comprehensive analysis of all available evidence. Hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in truck accidents can help gather and analyze this evidence, increasing the chances of a successful claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.

Liability for a Trucking Distracted Driving Crash in Arizona

Determining liability for a trucking distracted driving crash in Arizona involves a careful analysis of various factors. One crucial factor is establishing negligence on the part of the truck driver. To do this, it must be proven that the driver owed a duty of care to others on the road, that they breached that duty by engaging in distracted driving, and that this breach directly caused the accident and resulting injuries.

In Arizona, distracted driving is considered a form of negligence. This can include activities such as texting, talking on the phone, using GPS, eating, or otherwise being visually, manually, or cognitively distracted while operating a truck. To establish liability, evidence may be gathered from witness statements, police reports, phone records, and any available video footage, such as from dashboard cameras or nearby surveillance cameras.

It is also essential to consider the potential liability of the trucking company. Under the principle of vicarious liability, employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees while they are performing work-related tasks. If the truck driver acted within the scope of their employment at the time of the crash, the trucking company may be liable for the damages caused. Additionally, if the company failed to train or supervise the driver adequately, or if they encouraged or condoned distracted driving behaviors, they may also be found partially liable.

Call Torgenson Law Today

Getting in an accident with any type of truck is serious. But if you’ve been in an accident with a distracted truck driver, it likely led to serious consequences. You need a lawyer on your side who understands the law surrounding distracted truck drivers and a firm that fights for your right to fair and just compensation.

Torgenson Law has over two decades of experience getting justice for accident victims. Our staff is committed to discovering the facts of the incident and building a compelling case for compensation. For a free case evaluation, reach out to us online or call us at 602-726-0747 to get started on your path to seeking justice.

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