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Distracted commercial truck drivers are a major risk on the road

March 26, 2018

Most people understand that distraction on the road can be dangerous, even deadly. When someone operating a motor vehicle fails to properly attend to the task at hand, mistakes and oversights can quickly result in a crash. The end result may be massive property damage, severe injuries or even death. When the person indulging in distracted driving controls a massive commercial truck, the risks to others on the road are even higher.

When traveling at 55 miles per hour, taking five seconds to read or type a text can cause a crash. In those few seconds, the vehicle will travel the length of a football field. That’s a long way to go without checking your surroundings.

When the vehicle involved is a commercial truck, the end result could be a fatal crash, thanks, in part, to the longer stopping times for these massive vehicles. No matter how careful you are around commercial trucks, you can’t eliminate risk caused by their mistakes. Commercial drivers who endanger others need to be held accountable for their professional neglect.

Federal law prohibits texting for commercial drivers

There is already sufficient data out there to support the idea that any kind of distracted driving is dangerous. In fact, the federal government, via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has already created policies to prevent commercial drivers from texting while at the wheel.

Under this policy, the definition of texting includes SMS messages, emails, instant messaging, typing a web address or even pressing more than one button to answer or end a phone call. Commercial drivers who get caught texting while driving can face serious penalties, including driver disqualification for commercial licensing and fines of as much as $2,750.

There is plenty of temptation for commercial drivers to text

Working as a commercial truck driver is a long and lonely job. These professionals often spend up to 14 hours a day at the wheel, potentially with no human interaction. Long hours increase the risk of exhaustion and road hypnosis, which can both lead to accidents. However, texting or playing on a mobile phone is not the best means of combating exhaustion or boredom while driving.

Still, many people who drive commercial vehicles may find themselves reaching for their phones while at work. They may want to respond to a message from a loved one or just touch base with a friend. In some cases, companies encourage text messages to communicate progress on the trek, which can result in liability for the company as well if law enforcement find out.

Texting truck drivers could cause irreparable harm to others

It only takes a few seconds of negligence to endanger the life and well-being of many others on the road. If you experienced a collision you believe involved a distracted trucker, you should explore your options for compensation for any losses, such as medical expenses, property damage and lost wages during your recovery.