At the beginning of 2020, a regular day for many people turned into the grisly and tragic scene of a nine-vehicle pileup on I-65 in Indiana. According to reports, the driver of a semi-truck crashed into a line of passenger vehicles, and eight different cars were involved. One car flipped over the guardrail, and another was pinned up against the railing. Fourteen people were transported due to injuries, while three passengers in the vehicle that was pinned did not survive. The fatalities included a 21-year-old, a 19-year-old, and a one-year-old child.
After investigating, authorities determined that the driver of the semi-truck was putting down his coffee mug and briefly looking away from the road when traffic slowed. He did not have time to slow down or stop to avoid hitting the line of traffic. The truck driver is now facing criminal charges, which include three counts of reckless homicide.
The Dangers of Distracted Truck Driving
Distracted truck drivers pose a threat to everyone on the road. In 2019, another truck driver caused a fatal crash in Indiana when he reportedly reached for his iced tea. That crash resulted in the death of a mother and her twin 18-month-old daughters. These two accidents illustrate just how dangerous even a moment of distraction can be while driving – especially when driving a semi-truck.
Commercial truck drivers are on the road for long hours, and they often find ways to stay comfortable and entertained. This can include:
- Eating and drinking
- Listening to audiobooks or podcasts
- Listening to the radio
- Talking to other drivers on the CB radio
- Talking on a cell phone (hands-free or not)
- Texting or messaging
- Browsing social media or the internet
While using a handheld device for any reason is strictly prohibited from commercial drivers, it is not against the law for a driver to have a snack or a (non-alcoholic) beverage while driving. In fact, many drivers eat on the road or drink caffeinated beverages to help them stay sustained and feel alert. As Indiana residents have learned too well, however, even a seemingly harmless task – such as putting down or reaching for a beverage – can be deadly.
Truck drivers need to make sure that their activities in the cab of their truck do not take their eyes or attention from the road. Even a couple of seconds looking away can cause them to crash and change the lives of accident victims forever. Distracted truck drivers can face criminal charges, though they should also be held fully liable for the losses of victims and their families. It is important that all truck accident victims or families who lose a loved one seek help from a trusted truck accident attorney.
Consult with an Indiana Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At the law firm of Tanzillo, Stassin & Babcock, P.C., we believe that dangerous drivers should be responsible for the injuries and losses of those they harm. We help clients after all types of vehicle crashes, so please contact us today for help.