In early 2010, the United States Department of Transportation banned commercial truck drivers from texting while driving. With good reason. Truckers who text have been shown to be 23 times more at risk for an accident than those who don’t. In the 5 seconds that it takes to read a message, a tractor trailer will travel the length of a football field. The weight and size of a tractor trailer makes it difficult to maneuver and stop, so those 5 seconds could cost another motorist their life.
With long hours spent driving and days at a time spent away from home, truck drivers have a tendency to manage their lives out of the cab. They often engage in activities that take their attention away from the road, which is very dangerous when you are barreling down a highway in an 80,000 lb vehicle. Texting is just one of many things that can cause a truck driver to be inattentive.
- Eating and drinking while hauling may seem harmless, but it is a cause for concern. Remember, in 5 seconds a truck can travel the distance of a football field. So if the driver spills coffee in his lap how many football fields does he run through before his eyes are back on the road?
- Sleep deprivation in truck drivers is a major cause of distracted driving. Long hours spent on the road and infrequent stops can make the driver begin to nod behind the wheel. Federal regulations are in place that demand shorter driving spans and more frequent stops by truck drivers, but these are often ignored in order to make a deadline.
- Any onboard electronic device can cause inattentiveness to the highway. As alarming statistics emerge, more and more companies are installing devices that will only work when the truck is not in motion, but others, like an iPad, cannot be controlled in that way.
- Talking on the phone is probably the number one cause of distracted truck driver accidents. Many consider cell phone use while driving the new drunk driving. Besides the distraction of dialing or answering a call, the attention paid to the actual conversation is taking away from the attention that the driver should be paying to the road.
Contact an Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident with a tractor trailer and suspect that the driver was guilty of doing any of these things at the time, call upon the services of a qualified Missouri truck accident attorney. Drivers of big rigs have a duty of care to other motorists and are neglecting that duty if they engage in any activity other than driving while their vehicle is in motion.
As a Missouri driver was stopped on a highway waiting for an accident to clear ahead, he was rear-ended by a commercial vehicle. The defense agreed to a $415,000 settlement after lawyers for the plaintiff showed how the driver should have had plenty of time to stop had he been paying better attention to the road.
With all of the modern gadgets available to play with, distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions in our country. Lawmakers are constantly trying to keep up with all of the new technology and pass laws to limit its use while driving but the truth is it does not take much time for a distraction to cause a serious collision. If you or someone in your family was involved in a collision with a truck, call a Missouri truck accident attorney at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm. We can work to protect you rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (314) 588-7200 to schedule a free consultation.
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