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NTSB’s 2015 “Most Wanted” list puts eliminating distracted truck driving as top priority

Written by Steve Gursten Posted April 15th, 2015

How the NTSB aims to stop distracted driving among truckers, specifically texting and driving and cell phone use

distracted truck driver

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is a federal body charged by Congress with investigating transportation accidents, including crashes involving commercial trucks on the public highway. The NTSB investigations find the probable cause of these accidents, and makes a determination as to whether the crash was preventable. After the investigation, the NTSB translates its findings into safety recommendations aimed at preventing future wrecks.

After a busy year in 2014, the NTSB has released its annual list of “most wanted” safety improvements for 2015. Here’s the 2014 list, which our truck accident lawyers previously discussed here.

Mobile devices top the list for most dangerous distractions

This year, the No. 1 most wanted item to prevent carnage on the nation’s public highways from the NTSB’s list is deadly distractions, specifically from mobile devices.

The agency’s 2014 investigations found distraction from mobile devices is frequently a cause of truck accidents and other wrecks. According to data provided from the NTSB’s sister agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 10% of drivers who caused fatal crashes were distracted.

This says that lawyers who litigate these cases are not doing enough civil discovery as to whether mobile devices are playing a role in causing these crashes. We’ve all heard of high-profile examples, such as the truck driver in Arizona who was surfing porn while driving and tragically killed a police officer. In that case, which Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable founder and safety advocate Michael Leizerman litigated, a distracted truck driver who was surfing Facebook on his cell phone careened off of the road, striking an Arizona State Trooper squad car on the shoulder.

After this NTSB study, can attorneys now assume that at least one in every 10 fatal truck crashes involve distractions and are entirely preventable? We know firsthand that truck drivers who are distracted by mobile devices are significantly more prone to cause fatal truck crashes.

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About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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