The federal government recently passed a new nationwide law that bans commercial drivers from talking on the cell phone while driving and using mobile devices (text messaging) while driving. While this is a great step toward making sure that truckers aren’t distracted behind the wheel, it does not mean that truckers will now be paying attention to the road at all times.
Truck drivers are often behind the wheel for hours at a time, and often driving on monotonous stretches of interstate. Their truck cab is their office. It comes as no surprise that they do not always have two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road.
What are some of the most common trucker driving distractions?
- Eating. Truckers are often on tight schedules that don’t allow for leisurely meals, so some munch while traveling 65 miles per hour in a multiple-ton vehicle.
- Using an on-board computer. Many truckers communicate with their employers using an electronic device in their cab. Studies have found that many truckers use and read this device while driving.
- CB Radios. Radios were not part of the ban on electronic devices, and a significant number of truckers use the devices to find out about traffic, weather, and other information. However, CB radios do have the ability to take a trucker’s hands from the wheel or take his him off of the road.
- Road hypnosis. In some cases, boredom and fatigue are enough to distract a trucker – after hours of driving, your mind simply wanders from the task at hand. You could miss a construction zone, slowing traffic, or signs of a disabled vehicle.
- Cell phone conversations and text messaging. Even though these two activities have been banned, law enforcement worries that they will be difficult to enforce. And just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean that truck drivers have stopped altogether.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a VA truck accident that you believe involved distracted driving? You may wish to speak with a Virginia truck accident attorney about the details of your case. The personal injury lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton can help you review the evidence of your case and decide on your best option for legal action. Call today to set up a no-obligation appointment.