Truck drivers, accidents, and distractions

Truck Drivers Can Face Many Distractions

Distracted driving1 is a risky behavior for any driver, though it is especially dangerous for drivers of large tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks. If you are injured by a distracted truck driver, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Clearwater truck accident lawyer as soon as possoble to learn about your rights. The following are ony some examples of the most common driving distractions that lead to truck accidents and serious injuries and losses for victims. 

Handheld mobile devices – Though smart phones and other handheld mobile devices provide many conveniences in this day and age, they also create substantially dangerous risks when used while behind the wheel. Texting, emailing, or engaging in any other type of text-based messaging causes cognitive, visual, and physical distractions. For this reason, it is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous activities in which a driver can engage. Even talking on a cell phone can be highly distracting, as a truck driver’s mind will be focused on the conversation and not on the road and traffic around them. In fact, a study2 has shown that even hearing a cell phone notification can be distracting enough to cause a truck driver to make dangerous errors. In addition, if a phone is on the passenger seat or in a bag, trying to find a ringing phone can cause you to swerve or fail to notice slowing or stopped traffic. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Florida law both make it illegal for a commercial driver to do the following: 

  • Read or send any text-based message
  • Reach for a phone
  • Dial a number that requires pushing more than one button
  • Holding a phone while talking

Truck drivers are expected to have a phone within reach, use speed dial or voice activation, and use hands-free ear pieces for conversations.

CB Radios – Commercial truck drivers can often feel isolated due to spending long hours on the road alone in the cab of their truck. For this reason, many truck drivers connect with other drivers via CB radio. These radios not only give drivers a chance to share stories and chat, but also allow them the warn other drivers of traffic condition or possible hazards in the road. Though CB radios serve an important purpose, they can also be highly distracting if drivers begin paying more attention to talking than to driving. 

Passengers – In some situations, truck drivers have spouses or friends ride along for certain trips both to keep them company and allow their family members to see different parts of the country. Having a passenger in the car, however, can be inherently distracting. Even holding a conversation with a passenger can cause a truck driver to lose focus on the road in front of them. 

Eating and drinking – Truck drivers live much of their lives on the road. Often, instead of taking time off to sit down at a restaurant and eat, they choose to eat and drink in their truck. Eating and drinking causes manual distraction as they must take their hands off the wheel and also causes visual distraction if they are looking at what they are eating. For these reasons, eating and drinking can lead to serious collisions. 

There are, of course, many other types of distractions that may lead to truck accidents and truck drivers should be held responsible for any injuries they caused due to distracted driving. 

Contact a highly skilled Clearwater truck accident attorney today for a free consultation

Every driver should know to avoid distractions while behind the wheel and commercial drivers should be especially careful because of the particularly large, heavy vehicles they operate. Unfortunately, many truck drivers get bored or careless and negligently become distracted and cause a collision. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our experienced truck accident lawyers believe that distracted truck drivers should be held fully accountable for any damage or injury they cause. We zealously stand up for the rights of injured accident victims and always offer free consultations. Please call us today at 727-451-6900 to find out more about how we can help you.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756