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Trucker hid phone that was distracting him before crash


Accidents involving semi-trucks are usually tragic. When a vehicle weighing as much as 80,000 pounds hits another vehicle weighing a mere 3,000 pounds, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. It is this likelihood that led the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue new rules banning cell phone use by commercial truckers while they are driving.

Despite this prohibition, many drivers still try to use their phones. Such is likely the case with a truck driver in Arizona who crashed into a number of emergency vehicles as authorities were responding to another accident. According to an ABC report, a dash cam video shows how the driver used his wallet to block the camera’s view (and prevent it from showing how he was using his phone while driving). 

However, just after the impact, the driver’s phone can be seen flying through the air from the spot where it was previously placed. When questioned by police, the driver said that he looked away briefly at a passing truck. But the video appears to contradict this story.

We find this story important because it is a poignant reminder of the duty truck drivers have to use reasonable care while behind the wheel of the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road. This type of failure can lead to civil liability (as well as criminal liability) which would enable the people injured in the accident to seek compensation from the driver (as well as the trucking company).

Source: ABC, Cops say truck driver was on Facebook at time of fatal crash,” November 4, 2013

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