Distracted driving can be especially dangerous when the distracted driver is behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound truck. It is important for truck drivers not to engage in distracted driving and for truck accident victims to know how to hold them accountable if they do.
Following are some rules to prevent distracted driving by truck drivers:
- Cell phone use prohibited: drivers of commercial vehicles, including truck drivers, are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone while driving.
- Texting while driving is prohibited: truck drivers are also prohibited from texting while driving. This includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging or accessing a web page.
- Single button rule: truck drivers are prohibited from pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate voice communication using a cell phone or when engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval.
What does the data say?
Truck drivers are required to use a hands-free mobile device that is in close proximity to them. Data has shown that truck drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event, such as a near crash or crash, than truck drivers who do not text while driving. Drivers who text while driving remove their eyes from the roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds which, while traveling at 55 miles per hour, is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field without looking. The risks and dangers of distracted driving are real.
Truck drivers who choose to text while driving, or engage in some other form of distracted driving, may be liable for the truck accidents they cause and the damages to victims. In addition to potential fines, truck drivers may be required to compensate truck accident victims for their physical, financial and emotional damages through a personal injury claim for damages.