Distracted Truck Drivers More Likely to Engage in Other Dangerous Behaviors

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a nationwide call to focus on the dangers of drivers who recklessly don’t focus on the road ahead.  When it comes to distracted truck drivers, that dangerous behavior apparently is just the tip of the iceberg.

In the most comprehensive look at fatal truck accidents to date, the Large Truck Causation Study pointed to human error as a primary cause.  Bad decisions lead to catastrophic truck wrecks.  It is not only a bad decision by truckers to use a cell phone while they drive but one that goes against federal regulations.  And also one that typically indicates the trucker has other poor driving habits.

A company that provides in-cab technology to video truck drivers analyzed over 180 million commercial truck trips between February 2016 and January 2017.  The company ranked the truckers based on their dangerous driving behaviors.  Those in the bottom 25 percent – those who were documented to be the most distracted while driving – were also the most likely to engage in other dangerous driving behaviors.

Distracted Truckers Also Ignore Speed Limits

The most frequently distracted truck drivers were much more likely to speed (87 percent) than the rest of the trucker population.  They were also found to be 83 percent more likely to roll through a red light or stop sign.

Like all drivers, truckers can be distracted by factors other than cell phones, such as eating, smoking or looking at paperwork.  The study determined, however, that truckers using cell phones were the worst or most dangerous of this group as compared to truckers distracted by other means.

Truckers Who Crash Most Likely to use Cell Phones While Driving

Very simply, truck drivers who crash tend to use their cell phone while they drive.  Per this research, truck drivers who had at least one wreck on their record were 94 percent more likely to be driving and talking on a hand-held cell phone compared to truckers who had never been in an accident.  And truck drivers who crashed at least once were 85 percent more likely to text.

Distracted driving has become such a national scourge we now have a whole month dedicated to ending it.  When truck drivers, responsible for rigs that weigh up to 80,000 pounds, drive distracted and things go wrong, the results are often catastrophic and claim innocent victims.

If you were seriously injured or had a family member die in a crash with a commercial truck, contact a truck accident attorney, who can weigh if distracted driving or other negligent driving behaviors were involved.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog April 23, 2018