Social media apps like Instagram and TikTok can be addictive, but that is no excuse for using them while driving. Distracted driving causes terrible car accidents regardless of what the app user is driving, but the danger is especially acute when the distracted person is behind the wheel of a semi. The sheer size and power of 18-wheelers mean that any collision with a passenger vehicle can potentially end in tragedy.
That is what happened in a truck accident earlier this year involving six vehicles that killed five people. A truck driver on the interstate crashed into two cars, wedging them into another semi. The second semi lurched forward from the impact and crashed into another two cars. The collision scene burst into flames.
Accused of using TikTok, text message app
Since then, investigators have announced that the first truck driver “received a message on his electronic work tablet and acknowledged the message.” Police also say that the trucker had the TikTok app active on his phone when the crash happened. It appears he was driving 68 mph in a 55 mph zone and failed to brake in time when he reached a traffic jam. He has been charged with five counts of manslaughter.
This appears to be a classic example of what distracted driving can do to innocent people. Using a phone or tablet behind the wheel reduces your ability to see what is happening around you and drags down your reaction time. Someone distracted by their devices for even a few seconds is more likely not to notice that traffic in front of them has stopped. They will also likely be slower to hit the brakes soon enough. Choosing to distract yourself while driving is negligence under California personal injury law.