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Distracted truck drivers and the risks and dangers they pose

As a previous post highlighted, distracted driving is a serious problem on roadways in Massachusetts and elsewhere. While this form of reckless driving is the cause of millions of car accidents each year, it is also the cause of serious truck accidents throughout the nation. While federal trucking regulations are passed to reduce and even penalize distracted truck drivers, this unfortunately does not prevent these types of collisions from occurring.

To get a better picture of the problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits texting while driving and the use of hand-held mobile devices while operating a commercial vehicle used in interstate commerce. When a driver is caught violating this regulation, he or she is subject to fines, disqualifications and could be put out-of-service.

According to recent research, truck drivers who text while driving were 23 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event such as a truck accident. Additionally, truck drivers who dial a phone while driving were six times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Although regulations state that using hand held devices to call or text is prohibited, using a hands-free option for these devices is usually found to be acceptable. It should be noted that the FMCSA defines distracted driving beyond just the use of a cell phone. It means no reaching for a phone, no texting, no holding phones, no reading a phone and no dialing on a phone.

When a truck accident occurs, the individuals involved are likely to suffer tremendous harm and serious injuries. If it is determined that a distracted truck driver caused the crash, the truck driver could be held liable for his or her negligence. This could also help a victim recover compensation for medical bills, losses and damages caused by the incident.

Source: Truckingtruth.com, "Distracted Driving For Truck Drivers: The Penalties And Risks," Brett Aquila, Jan. 10, 2017

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