Distracted Truck Driver Causes Wreck in Kentucky

An SUV was hit a tractor trailer on May 22 in Paducah, Kentucky, when a tractor trailer ran a red light because the truck driver was distracted by his GPS, according to local police. 

The 79-year-old truck driver was driving his 2006 International tractor trailer on Alben Barkley Drive in Paducah. He ran a red light and hit a 2010 Ford Escape. The truck driver told police that he did not see that his traffic light was red because he was looking at his GPS.

Sideswipe truck accident kills 1.

The trucker pulled into the intersection against the red light. The truck hit the side of the SUV and it flipped over. The driver of the SUV suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Our View

As tractor trailer accident personal injury attorneys who have seen many serious and fatal truck crashes, we are relieved that this accident was not worse.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver distraction is a common problem for truck drivers. The truck driver in the Kentucky accident told police that he was distracted by his GPS. He may have glanced at the device for just a second or two, but that was enough to not see the red light and cause a serious accident.

The FMCSA states that driver distractions can occur both inside and outside the truck. The most common distractions for truck drivers are cell phones, GPS devices, dispatching devices, reading, eating/drinking, adjusting radio and talking to passengers.

Another common problem is distractions that occur outside the cab, such as looking at buildings, scenery or people.

A 2009 study determined that 71% of large truck wrecks happened when the driver was doing something other than paying attention to his driving.

The FMCSA stresses that truck drivers should never be distracted by anything inside or outside the vehicle not related to driving the truck. Texting and driving is a common problem that leads to many injuries and deaths each year.

Another 2009 study found that texting while driving can increase your chances of a crash by 23 times. This study determined that in the seconds before a crash, drivers who were texting spent almost five seconds looking at their phone.

Our personal injury attorneys have represented clients who were the victims of distracted truck drivers. The results of a distracted or fatigued truck driver can be devastating. We handled a $5.5 million truck crash settlement where a truck driver probably fell asleep and essentially ran over our clients in their small car at a stop sign. Their children in the rear seats suffered serious brain injuries.