When hit by a distracted driver, proof of distracted driving can be established through a police report, analysis of the accident scene, eyewitnesses, and cell phone records.
Establishing Proof of Distracted Driving
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,166 deaths caused by distracted drivers. Distracted driving behaviors are especially dangerous for truck drivers behind the wheel of 80,000-pound trucks. When large, commercial trucks are in an accident, the size and weight of the truck are likely to cause significant injuries or death.
Although the trucking industry imposes strict safety guidelines for truck drivers, distracted driving is still a major cause of trucking accidents. Commercial truck drivers are often distracted by their cell phones, radios, navigation systems, eating and drinking, and sleep deprivation. If distracted driving is suspected as the cause of a trucking accident, proof can be established by a truck accident lawyer through the following steps.
When any type of vehicle accident occurs, the police should be called to the scene of the accident to examine the details of the crash. These details are important to determine driving speeds, driver impairment, and driver fault. While the police report alone may not be hard evidence of driver distraction, it can help to establish fault to a judge or jury.
Analysis of the Accident Scene
An analysis of the accident scene is established through photographs and videos of crash details that show skid marks, tire tracks, and specific damages to property and vehicles. Visual images showing no tire or brake marks and the impact of the crash can help to establish proof of distracted driving. A truck accident lawyer can work with a professional crash expert who can testify in court that the accident was caused by distracted driving based on analysis of the crash scene facts.
In some cases, there are eyewitnesses who see the crash happen and observe distracted driving behaviors such as talking on a cell phone, eating while driving, or dozing off behind the wheel. Requesting official statements from eyewitnesses at the scene can help to prove a case of distracted driving.
Cell Phone Records
With help from a truck accident lawyer who can subpoena the truck driver’s cell phone records, it may be possible to prove the driver was using a handheld mobile device in the minutes leading up to the accident. Cell phone records can show proof of calls, texts, emails, and videos.