Truckers are susceptible to the lure of distractions because they spend so many hours on the road each day. The temptation to multitask or simply fill the time can be overwhelming. From personal grooming during a long trip to drinking coffee to stay awake, truck drivers are cautioned that any activity that removes focus from the road can lead to serious collisions with catastrophic results.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has communicated five simple rules to truck drivers across the nation:
- No reaching
- No holding
- No dialing
- No texting
- No reading
The broader scope of these rules can be taken to include countless activities such as:
- Personal grooming
- Holding conversations
- Manipulating a GPS device
Driving distractions can commonly fall into three categories: manual distractions (those involving the hands or feet), visual distractions (those pulling the eyes from watching the road and other vehicles) and cognitive distractions (those, such as daydreaming, that pull attention and focus from the road). The most dangerous activities such as texting and eating blend two or more of these distraction categories.
The collisions caused by distracted driving can result in devastating injuries including brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, crush injuries and paralysis. Severe collisions can result in fatalities for vehicle occupants or pedestrians. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that:
- Drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be in an accident if they are texting.
- Drivers are 9 times more likely to be in an accident if they are writing.
- Drivers are 7 times more likely to be in an accident if they are looking at a map.
- Drivers are 6.7 times more likely to be in an accident if they are reaching for an electronic device.
- Drivers are 5.9 times more likely to be in an accident if they are dialing a cell phone.
If you were in an accident or you have lost a loved one in a crash caused by a negligent driver, it is crucial that you contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Based on the circumstances of your case, you might be entitled to recover monetary compensation.