Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Fatal truck wreck may have been caused by distracted driver

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In our last post, we talked at length about distracted driving in the modern world. Specifically, we were talking about everyday people driving their sedans and being distracted by modern technology. This could mean the driver decides to reach for his or her cell phone and read or compose a text message; or it could mean that the driver is wearing Google Glass; or it could be a GPS device that catches the driver's eye.

However, everyday drivers aren't the only ones that succumb to the allure of cellphones or other distracting pieces of modern technology. Even people who drive for a profession can make such an amazingly poor decision.

A truck driver was charged with more than a dozen felonies after it was discovered that he was checking his cellphone in the immediate build-up to a fatal truck accident. The crash, which occurred many months ago, has been under investigation since -- and police recently released new information about the crash.

The driver apparently blocked a dash-mounted video camera with his wallet, so that the camera would not capture his distracted state. A police officer was killed after the trucker plowed through another accident scene. If true, the truck driver's use of a cellphone could make him liable not just in criminal court, but civil court as well. In fact, the truck company he works for could be held liable too.

Truck drivers are often the center of conversation when it comes to a truck accident. Were they asleep at the wheel? Did they get the necessary amount of rest prior to taking a shift? Were they distracted? Did they perform the required pre-trip inspection of their vehicle? Depending on the answers to these questions, the driver could be at fault.

Source: ABC News, "Truck Driver Was on Facebook at Time of Fatal Crash, Cops Say," Daisha Riley and Suzan Clarke, Nov. 5, 2013

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