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Commercial truck drivers and distraction is a dangerous mix

Drivers are increasingly aware of the risks that result from distracted driving. Focusing on something other than the road, whether it is a breakfast burrito or your mobile phone, could spell disaster. As a responsible driver, you probably take every step possible to avoid distraction at the wheel. This may mean turning your phone to silent or placing it in the back seat.

Unfortunately, other drivers may not be so diligent or cautious. This leaves you at increased risk, especially if the distracted driver is in control of a commercial truck. Large commercial trucks pose significant risk to people on the road, as they can cause severe injuries or even death in the event of a collision with a smaller passenger vehicle.

The stressful nature of trucking may lead drivers to distraction

Driving commercial trucks for a living isn't easy. It is physically demanding to maintain control of a vehicle for many hours on end. It can strain the back, eyesight and even the forearms and hands of the person driving.

The long hours can also lead to increased risk of dozing off at the wheel or feelings of depression and social isolation. All of that stress and strain can increase the risk for a crash. This is particularly true when drivers try to stave off feelings of loneliness or exhaustion by turning to their mobile phones.

Trucks require more time to stop in the event of something unexpected happening. If a truck driver is distracted at the wheel, they may not be able to stop the vehicle in time to prevent a collision. Distraction is dangerous for any driver on the road, but particularly for those in control of massive, heavy commercial vehicles.

Federal regulations prohibit commercial drivers from texting

Thankfully, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes the potential risk that distracted truck drivers pose to everyone else on the road. In order to protect the public, they have regulations in place that prohibit truck drivers from texting at the wheel. These rules apply to not only standard SMS text messages, but also emails, manually dialing a phone, visiting websites and otherwise pressing more than a single button on the phone while driving a commercial vehicle.

Commercial truckers who get caught texting, regardless of state laws, can end up facing fines and other penalties. Repeat offenders may even lose their eligibility for commercial driving. Unfortunately, those penalties do not deter some people from engaging in this dangerous activity.

For victims of a commercial trucking accident, it is important to explore whether exhaustion or distraction played a role in the collision. In the event that it did, you may be able to hold the truck driver accountable for how their actions impacted your life.

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