People like to multi-task and of course nowadays seemingly everyone is attached to their smartphone. But this also means more distracted drivers than ever–and that can be especially dangerous for commercial truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2015 alone, 4,050 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes and 87,000 more were involved in injury crashes. Indeed, distracted and inattentive driving was the second highest driving-related factor in those crashes. How does this happen?
Driven to Distraction
Smartphones can provide all kinds of helpful information, music, and help people navigate many miles on the road, but they are not a license to be distracted. The FMCSA website shows just what a dangerous combination truck driving and cell phones can be:
- The chances of a safety-critical event (e.g. a crash, near-crash, or unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for commercial truck drivers that text while driving than for those that do not.
- When texting, commercial truck drivers take their eyes off of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This means a driver can travel the approximate length of a football field before looking back at the roadway.
- Commercial truck drivers that dial mobile phones while driving are six times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event than those that do not.
The FMCSA Now Has Rules for Use of Hand-Held Mobile Devices by Commercial Vehicle Operators
In short, it is illegal for commercial operators to hold a mobile device to make a call, or even press more than a single button while driving! The FMCSA website explains what cell phone use violates federal laws:
- Not having one’s phone close enough to reach while still restrained by seatbelt
- Not using an earpiece or the speakerphone function
- Not using voice-activated dialing
- Not using the hands-free feature
Call a Houston Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Commercial truck accidents happen—and they affect thousands of people each year and have the potential to result in injuries that can leave people with lifelong medical issues or worse. Anyone involved in such an accident should have their case reviewed by an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Houston Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer, call the law office of Stewart J. Guss at 800-898-4877 or send us emails through our online contact form. CLICK HERE to see Stewart interviewed as an authority on trucking accident cases by Mike Papantonio on his national news program, “America’s Lawyer.”