Is Inattentive Driving Negligence?
Yes, and if an inattentive driver causes a fatal crash, the family may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. When that driver is behind the wheel of an 50,000-80,000 pound vehicle, that driver, the trucking company and others may all be legally responsible.
Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Widespread cell phone use, including texting, has led to law changes in many states to criminalize the activity. Driving is a visual task and non-driving activities that draw the driver’s eyes away from the roadway can have dire consequences.
Our lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Types of Distraction
According to Michigan State Police there are three main types of distraction:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off of what you’re doing
Distracting activities include:
- Using a cell phone and/or texting
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a PDA or navigation system
- Watching a video
- Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.
A man from Arlington Heights was traveling with his wife when their vehicle was struck from behind by a semi-truck on Interstate 94. He was killed and his wife was hospitalized with critical injuries from the crash, which State Police have said was caused by inattentiveness on the part of the semi-truck driver. State Police told reporters that the semi-truck driver wasn’t paying attention and failed to stop for stalled traffic ahead of him. An investigation will try to determine why the driver of the 18-wheeler was distracted. The fatal accident happened in broad daylight and injured people in several other cars struck at the same time. The man who died was 72.