Sorry Ian totally irrelevant. The case obviously involved close scrutiny of the operations of Blenners because this was part of his defence and they were so squeaky clean - for this particular truck and load, not saying always as I do not know - that the usual lay-off percentage of guilt between the parties in nearly every major case was not considered. The driver was caught cold 100%.
Over 30% of all insurance claims contain some sort of fraud ranging from panel beaters overcharging, a terrible crook back, replacing the extra already cracked window during storm repairs to a lost handbag that just happened to be carrying grandma's $20,000 heirloom diamond broach on its way to the jewelers to be cleaned. We all pay for this. Insurance companies are not charity organisations and 99% of times you see some bleeding heart 60Minutes story it is patently clear the "victim" did not qualify under the terms of the CONTRACT and the company is being blackmailed into making an unjustified ex-gratia payment.
Personally I have no problem with this case (except the poor bugger whose stupidity will probably cost him his house). What if he had gone right and not left and taken out the proverbial school bus?
Here are some USA statistics on phones. This is 2015 but apparently the percentage of accidents due to phone use has climbed from 25% to 34%. In Australia there is some indication that the recent $1,000 fine and 4 demerit points for phone use is starting to bite but still a long way to go.
Shocking Statistics That Will Make You Think Twice About Grabbing Your Phone
The numbers illustrating the dangers of cell phone use while driving are downright startling. In fact, at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.
Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.
Cell phone distraction rates are alarmingly high. We hope with a little information, you'll make the right decision when you're on the road. The following figures were the most up-to-date statistics at the time of our latest research.
General Cell Phone Statistics
The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
94 percent of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
74 percent of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use.
Teen Driver Cell Phone Statistics
According to a AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.
2017 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
Parents with young children were more 13 percent likely to be distracted while driving than adults with no small children
3,166 people were killed by distracted driving in 2017
In 2017, there were 34,247 distracted driving accidents
15,341 drivers aged 15-29 were involved in fatal crashes due to distraction or cell phone use
2016 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
Fatalities in distraction-affected crashes decreased from 3,526 in 2015 to 3,450 in 2016, or a decrease of 2.2 percent.
263 teens (age 15 to 19) were killed as a result of distracted driving in 2016.
10 percent of all teen motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2016 involved distracted driving.
The NHTSA estimates that every day 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while behind the wheel.
2015 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
2013 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
About 424,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
In 2013, 10% of all drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
2012 U.S. Cell Phone and Driving Statistics
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
About 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
In 2012, 11% of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
One-fourth of teenagers respond to at least one text message every time they drive and 20% of teens and 10% of parents report having multi-text message conversations while driving.
2012 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors
Nearly half (48%) of drivers admit to answering their cell phones while driving.
Of those who answered their phones while driving, 58% of drivers continued to drive while talking on the phone.
In the survey, 24% of drivers reported that they are willing to make a phone call while driving.
One in 10 drivers surveyed said that, at least sometimes, they send text messages or emails while driving.
Of the drivers surveyed, 14% said they read text messages or emails while driving.
A majority of respondents supported laws that banned talking on cell phones, texting, or emailing while driving.
2012 Texting Pedestrian Study
Researchers from the University of Washington monitored 20 of Seattle's busiest intersections and observed the following:
Pedestrians who text are 4x less likely to look before crossing the street, cross in crosswalks, or obey traffic signals.
They also found that texting pedestrians take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.
Was this the same company that got busted after Four Corners blew the whistle on them forcing drivers to drive illegally? I seem to remember that they eventually got off with use of a good legal team. There has been mention that they are self insured and hence motivated to seek damages in a civil court and it is interesting that they have to use agency drivers who are likely unaware of that company's attitudes to it's drivers.. I deal with convicted truck and bus drivers doing gaol time and a fair % of conviction and sentencing outcomes is down to the strength of the legal team defending and weakness/strength of prosecuting team. This bloke was not supported by his employer (the agency) and was self represented so didn't stand a chance.
Every law case is down to the strength and weaknesses of the prosecuting and defending team.
In this case he was on a hiding to nothing as he had already been convicted of a criminal offence. In a lesser case he would have automatically been sentenced to pay compensation to people he had damaged. The claim was not for all the woke reasons many court cases revolve around such as pain, suffering and mental anguish or in this case loss of use of the truck. All they hit him up for was the actual physical damage to the vehicle and the load.
His employer had no reason to be involved unless they were also being sued for providing poorly vetted or incompetent drivers to the trucking company.
I think the poor bugger just did something we all have in the full knowledge it is not only illegal but exceedingly dangerous. Little different to a double line crossing accident. It is fashionable to avoid any responsibility in today's society but he had nobody on the fringes to suck in so had to carry the can.
He can take some satisfaction that the size of his consequences might shock many people and could well save people dying.
Just my opinion.
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The texting business is plain outright criminal behavior.
As far as phone calls go the holding in the hand offence is a complete bullshit cop-out. It is not where your hand is it is where your mind is. As you said ALL phones should be disabled in a vehicle. Bluetooth and hands free are a free ticket to kill somebody.
Every single person who talks on a phone, hand held or remote, immediately loses the outside situational plot. In fact many times you see random braking, dropping speed and lane wandering from some idiot looking down at the speaker while involved in a conversation.
They have the technology but no guts to bring it in.
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