The Dangers of Distracted Driving in the Trucking Industry

Truck drivers have difficult and demanding jobs. A long-haul truck driver spends thousands of hours on the road each year under all types of demanding weather and road conditions. The job is hazardous enough without additional risks that increase the chances of a collision. Weighing more than 13 tons, a commercial truck accident can cause serious damage to property and injuries to individuals. Given the dangers associated with the job, truck drivers should remain alert, oriented, and focused on the road at all times. Avoiding distracted driving can help to prevent a serious crash from occurring.

What is Distracted Driving?  The Dangers of Distracted Driving in the Trucking Industry

According to the CDC, there are three main categories of distracted driving:

  • Visual Distraction: This occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road. Visually distracted driving is probably the most common example that comes to mind when we think of a distracted driver. This includes texting, checking emails, or looking at something else in the vehicle while it is in motion.
  • Manual Distraction: Manual distraction describes a driver taking their hands off the wheel. A long-haul truck driver may be on a tight schedule and may decide to eat a meal in their truck while driving rather than pulling over to eat. Eating, drinking, and holding a cell phone to make a call are all examples of manual distractions.
  • Cognitive Distraction: A cognitive distraction occurs when a truck driver is physically operating their truck, but their mind is not on the task at hand. Drivers who are preoccupied with other matters and cannot give their full attention to driving are cognitively distracted.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving is an epidemic in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,522 people in 2021. The risks for truck drivers are prevalent as well. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving among truck drivers carries a higher risk of accidents. A truck driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are texting behind the wheel. A driver reaching for their phone or electronic device is 7 times more likely to be in an accident, while a driver merely dialing the phone increases their chance for a crash 6 times over.

From these statistics, we can determine that distracted truck drivers, especially those distracted by phones and other electronic devices, pose a much greater risk to themselves and other motorists on the roadway. Each year, distracted driving plays a role in many commercial motor vehicle crashes, and the consequences can be devastating.

Laws Against Distracted Driving

The FMCSA has adopted a policy against the use of cell phones while driving. In 2013, the agency published a new set of federal guidelines aimed at preventing distracted truckers on the road. The rules implemented harsh penalties for truck drivers who used their phones while driving. A truck driver caught texting while driving faces a fine of $2,750, while an employer who allows a truck driver to use a mobile device during operation can be fined as much as $11,000. For the second and third offenses of the regulations, drivers face a suspension of their commercial driver’s license.

In addition to the federal laws, most states across the country have enacted their own laws that prevent truck drivers from using their phones on the roadways. The punishment in these various states ranges from a fine of a set amount to jail time for more serious offenses. All of these laws are aimed at deterring distracted truckers in light of the major risks that arise when a driver is not fully focused on the roadway.

Distracted Driving is Negligent Driving

In a recent year, more than 70% of truck accidents were attributed to distracted driving. This number may seem shockingly high, but it represents the reality of the situation. Distracted truckers are placing themselves and everyone else at risk each time they pick up a mobile device or take their eyes off the road, even for a split second.

A truck accident will be carefully investigated in order to determine the cause. When a crash is caused by distracted driving, the injured victim may have legal rights. Under the laws of the United States and every individual state, a negligent driver can be held responsible for the damages that they caused in the crash. Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving is also negligent driving. Injured victims have the legal right to make a claim against a distracted driver in order to recover damages, including:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical Bills
  • Prescription Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Punitive Damages in some cases

Due to the fact that distracted motorists, especially truck drivers, continue to cause major accidents, crash victims may have certain rights in the aftermath of a crash. Having a skilled national truck accident lawyer by your side is important to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

National Truck Accident Attorneys

Here at Burg Simpson, we help victims of truck accident claims. There are many potential negative outcomes associated with a commercial vehicle accident. Serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, strains, sprains, and more, are likely to occur in a truck crash. In the worst-case scenario, the accident may lead to the loss of a loved one. Our skilled and experienced attorneys understand what you are going through during this time. We will carefully listen and investigate the facts of your case to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected. We will then fight for the full compensation that you deserve.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a distracted truck driver, do not wait to seek help. Your time to take action could be limited. Our firm assists injured truck crash victims across the United States. Our consultations are always free for all potential and prospective clients, and there is no fee until we win. To schedule your appointment with a United States truck crash lawyer, please contact us using our online intake form or give us a call at (888) 895-2080.

Previous PostNext Post

Related Posts

Navigating Legal Challenges in Multi-Vehicle Truck Accidents

Commercial vehicle accidents have the potential to cause serious damage. Major injuries such as head...

Wrongful Death vs. Survival Action: Key Differences in...

Being involved in a truck accident can be a life-changing experience for victims and family...

The Role of the Black Box in Truck...

According to statistics, there are more than 13 million registered commercial trucks in the United...

phone-handset linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram