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Understanding the impact of truck driver distraction

Distracted driving is a real danger and can be extremely dangerous when engaged in by truck drivers. Generally, distracted driving includes activities that remove the truck driver or other driver's focus from the roadway so that safe driving practices are not maintained. Distracted driving increases the risk of a car or truck accident. Truck drivers can be distracted by activities inside or outside of the cab of the truck, which can lead to a distracted driving-related truck accident.

A distracted truck driver is a serious concern on the roadways and can include a variety of different types of distraction. Interior distractions can include using a cell phone, texting while driving, utilizing dispatch devices while driving, adjusting the radio or other device while driving or reading or eating while driving. Drivers can also be easily distracted outside of the truck by passing images or other visual stimulation, such as a billboard, which can be a dangerous distraction.

Additionally, a study from 2009 found that 71 percent of truck drivers were engaged in some activity other than driving the truck at the time of an accident. A 2006 study also found that 80 percent of truck accidents involved driver distraction in the 3 seconds before the accident and that driver distraction was a leading factor in near accidents and accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 11,000 truck accidents involved distraction outside of the cab of the truck.

Texting while driving has been banned for truck drivers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A variety of other dangerous driver inattentive behaviors are also prohibited or illegal which can help substantiate a claim for damages when a victim has been harmed by a distracted truck driver. It is important for victims to be aware that if they have been harmed by a distracted truck driver, they may have legal rights, remedies and recourse available to help protect them.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "CMV Driving Tips - Driver Distraction," Accessed Dec. 19, 2016

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