4.6 seconds is a long time for a trucker to drive distracted

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Commercial drivers, including those who operate semitrucks and buses, need to have their attention on the roadway. Failing to do so can result in accidents that can range from minor fender benders to fatal crashes. One thing that can distract truckers and other commercial drivers is texting. For this reason, the federal government has stepped in to set up regulations regarding texting, smartphone use, and cellphone use for these drivers.

A driver who is sending or receiving a text takes their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This doesn’t seem like a very long time, but when you are traveling at high rates of speed, it is actually a very long time. In this time span, a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour travels the entire length of a football field. That is enough distance to cause a very serious accident — in less than five seconds.

Truckers have options for remaining connected to loved ones while they are on the road, so lack of communication can’t be cited as a reason for violating regulations. These truckers can choose to use hands-free options for answering and making calls. Speech-to-text programs and text-to-voice programs can enable the truckers to continue to send and receive texts.

Ultimately, when truckers are distracted, innocent people suffer. The victims of distracted trucking accidents might choose to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered. The actions of the trucker in the moments leading up the accident might come into the picture, so understanding how to obtain crucial evidence can help you as you begin to build your case against the trucker.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Distracted Driving,” accessed March 08, 2017

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