Drivers across Atlanta should know how dangerous it is to get distracted by a cellphone behind the wheel. There are extensive marketing and educational campaigns that have been launched that remind motorists to put down the phone and focus on driving. However, too many people still take the risk of checking Facebook or sending a text when they are driving. Not only could they be breaking a law, but they could also be putting lives in danger.
In Georgia, drivers can use a hand-held phone while driving, but they are prohibited from texting and driving. The rules are different for truckers, however. Nationwide, truckers and other commercial drivers are prohibited from all use of a hand-held phone while driving. The reason for this is because of the threat they pose to the public if and when a trucker gets distracted.
A recent accident in Arizona was a grim and tragic reminder of how dangerous it is for truckers to use a cellphone behind the wheel; and a camera installed in the truck’s dashboard captured the horrific scene that took place. The recording shows that the trucker is traveling at a steady 65 mph while he is looking down into his lap. He does not see that in front of him, police cars and fire trucks are stopped on the road. His 10,000-pound truck smashes into one of the police vehicles, killing an officer.
Although the trucker had a strategically-placed item blocking a portion of the camera, certain details are captured on the recording that support claims that the trucker was distracted at the time of the accident. After the initial impact, the trucker’s phone can be seen flying out of his hand. Phone records also indicate that the trucker had been browsing pictures of women on Facebook immediately before the accident.
Details like these are not always easy to confirm after these types of accidents. However, with the help of an attorney, victims of a truck accident and their families can track down log books, performance history, dashcam recordings and phone records to support claims that a trucker’s negligence behind the wheel contributed to a catastrophic accident.
Source: ABC News, “Truck Driver Was on Facebook at Time of Fatal Crash, Cops Say,” Daisha Riley and Suzan Clarke, Nov. 5, 2013