San Bernardino County Big Rig Accident Caused by Distracted Truck Driver
Two people suffered injuries in an Ontario big rig accident that involved several vehicles on the eastbound I-10 freeway near Euclid Avenue the afternoon of March 28, 2009, according to a news report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. California Highway Patrol officials said they responded to the multi-vehicle collision where a big rig was on fire right next to an overturned AAA truck and a sport utility vehicle. The big rig driver managed to get out of his box truck that was ablaze, but suffered neck and back injuries. The drivers of the other two vehicles also suffered moderate injuries and were taken to a local hospital.
An eyewitness who saw the crash occur told officials that she was driving behind the box truck and saw the driver talking on the cell phone as he was driving. He seemed distracted, so she changed lanes and went around the big rig to get away to safety. After she pulled ahead of the big rig and glanced at her rear-view mirror she saw the truck swerve and hit the other vehicles.
I'm relieved that this big rig accident did not result in serious injuries to any of the other motorists involved. Given the nature of this crash and the fact that the big rig caught fire, this multiple vehicle accident could have had devastating consequences. I wish all the injured victims well and hope they have a speedy and complete recovery.
Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near crashes, according to a recent study released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). The study states that 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some form of driver distraction. In a majority of these incidents, the distraction occurs within three seconds of the motor vehicle crash.
The most common cause of distracted driving according to this study is cell phone use. Other causes include reading; looking at an object or event outside the vehicle; applying makeup; and reaching for a moving object inside the vehicle. The study states that drivers who engage more frequently in distracted driving are also more likely to be involved in an auto accident or near accident.
In this case, if the eyewitness account is accurate, then the distracted big rig driver seems to have caused this crash. Apparently, he lost control of his box truck because he was talking on the cell phone. Both the big rig driver and his employer could be held liable for the accident, injuries and damages caused because of the driver's reckless behavior. The injured victims in this case would be well-advised to consult with an experienced California big rig accident lawyer who will remain on their side, fight for their rights and make sure the negligent parties are held responsible for their actions.