Distracted driving is defined as any behavior that can cause a driver to lose their focus on the task of operating their vehicle safely. When this happens, other drivers, passengers, and innocent bystanders are all placed in very real danger. While truck drivers are paid a living to drive, they are not immune to the effects that distractions can have on driving capabilities.
A distracted truck driver is a recipe for disaster as the size and weight of a semi or box truck can create major damage if an accident occurs.
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Below we have outlined the top 3 distracting tasks common for truck drivers:
- Texting while driving. This is dangerous in any vehicle, but in a tractor-trailer that weighs 10,000 + pounds, an accident that results can be catastrophic. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that all drivers who send and receive text messages while behind the wheel take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, this translates to a motorist driving more than 100 yards without looking at the road. Fortunately, federal law bans truck drivers from texting while driving a commercial vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds. A truck driver found to be in violation of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s DOT 14-10 can result in their disqualification as well as civil and/or criminal penalties of up to $2,750 for individual drivers and up to $11,000 for trucking companies that require or permit their drivers to text and drive. Keep in mind, while texting and driving is prohibited amongst truck drivers, this does not mean driver will not engage in this dangerous activity.
- Eating while driving. Truck drivers have a lot of deadlines placed on them – their job is to get their loads to their drop off points swiftly. They are on tight schedules that can prevent them from taking very necessary and important breaks, so they may feel forced to eat a meal while they are also driving. As we all know, driving requires 100% of our focus, and you cannot divide your attention between two different things.
- Setting up and adjusting podcasts, playlists, and other entertainment methods. Truck drivers communicate with each other through radios, but using this equipment while driving can place focus elsewhere, leading to a crash. Moreover, truck drivers are on the road for lengthy periods of time, so it not uncommon for them to become distracted by adjusting radio dials, audio books, podcasts, and other entertainment methods or even navigation systems.
If you have been injured in a truck accident that was caused by a truck driver who was partaking in risky activities, like texting or talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking, or adjusting their radio or playlists, then you need to call our Florida Truck Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton for a free initial consultation – 866-608-5529. We have decades of experience handling truck accident cases and will provide you with the aggressive legal representation you need to recover the full and fair compensation you are entitled to. Continue reading