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Diesel mechanic died in motor vehicle crash caused by distracted driving.

Iowa Department of Public Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 12IA041, 2013 Mar; :1-17
A 37-year-old diesel mechanic employed by a railroad transportation company died when his loaded utility truck collided with the rear of a semi-trailer on a four-lane interstate highway. The mechanic was driving at highway speed during daylight hours when he failed to stop in time and struck the semi, which was moving slowly in traffic that had backed up due to a car fire two miles downstream. There was severe damage to the mechanic's truck, with underride of the cab and intrusion up to the right rear tires of the trailer ahead. The force of the collision caused a chain reaction, pushing the struck tractor-trailer forward into a second tractor-trailer that had stopped in backed up traffic. Fire and rescue responders arrived from the nearby town located four miles away. The mechanic, who was wearing a safety belt, suffered blunt force trauma as a result of the collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was extricated by mechanical means from the truck cab and was found holding a cell phone. Law enforcement officers' examination of the phone activity revealed the mechanic had exchanged several voice/text messages prior to the crash and was initiating a voice/text message application at the time of the collision. The driver's failure to notice the tractor trailer ahead and stop in time was attributed to texting. Drivers of the other two vehicles were not severely injured. To prevent similar fatalities, Iowa FACE recommends: 1. Drivers should use cell phones and wireless communications devices only after pulling off the roadway and parking their vehicle. 2. Drivers should maintain a safe following distance, adjusting for weather, traffic, road conditions, and visibility. 3. Employers should implement policies banning use of cell phones and in-vehicle technologies while driving. 4. States should adopt and enforce laws prohibiting the use of cell phones and wireless devices while driving.
Region-7; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Mechanics; Motor-vehicles; Author Keywords: motor vehicle collision; distracted driving; cell phone; texting
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-12IA041; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008460; B20130321
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division