Cracking The Case: 7 Approaches Truck Accident Lawyers Use To Demonstrate Distracted Driving By Truck Drivers

23 May 2023
 Categories: , Blog


As experts in the field, truck accident lawyers have developed several approaches to demonstrating that a truck driver was distracted while behind the wheel. This article will explore seven common strategies truck accident lawyers use to prove distracted driving by truck drivers.

1. Witness Statements

Witnesses may have noticed the driver engaging in activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or engaging in any other distracting behavior. Their statements can be obtained through interviews or depositions and serve as compelling evidence to demonstrate that the driver was not entirely focused on the road.

2. Cell Phone Records

The truck driver's cell phone records may reveal incoming and outgoing calls, text messages, or data usage. If the records indicate phone activity during the relevant timeframe, it can strongly suggest that the driver was using their phone while driving. Phone records can be obtained through legal means, such as subpoenas or court orders, and they can serve as concrete evidence of distracted driving.

3. Event Data Recorder (EDR) Analysis

Many commercial trucks are equipped with event data recorders, similar to the "black boxes" found in airplanes. EDRs capture speed, braking, acceleration, and other vehicle parameters. Analyzing the data from the EDR can provide insights into the truck driver's actions leading up to the accident. For example, sudden changes in speed or abrupt braking can indicate that the driver was distracted or not paying sufficient attention to the road.

4. Surveillance Footage

The accident may have occurred in areas with surveillance cameras, such as traffic cameras or nearby businesses with security cameras. Obtaining relevant surveillance footage can help establish the truck driver's behavior before and during the accident. This visual evidence can reveal distracting activities, such as using a cell phone, eating, or engaging in other behaviors that divert attention from driving.

5. Trucking Company Records

Trucking companies maintain various records related to their drivers' activities. These records include driving logs, rest break logs, and communication records between the company and the driver. Examining these records can help establish whether the driver adhered to federal driving hours and rest break regulations. Discrepancies or violations in these records may indicate that the driver was tired or distracted, contributing to the accident.

6. Expert Witnesses

In complex cases, lawyers may consult expert witnesses with specialized knowledge and expertise. For example, accident reconstruction specialists can analyze the physical evidence, including skid marks, vehicle damage, and witness statements, to reconstruct the events leading to the accident. Forensic cell phone analysts can examine the truck driver's records and provide expert opinions on whether phone usage occurred during the accident. 

7. Admissions or Statements

Truck drivers may make statements or admissions indicating they were distracted before, during, or after the accident. These statements can be crucial evidence and may be obtained through interviews, depositions, or even social media posts. If the driver admits to using a phone, engaging in other distracting activities, or acknowledging their lack of attention, such statements can be evidence of distracted driving.

For more information, contact a truck accident lawyer near you.