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A Closer Look at How Distracted Truckers Can Cause a TX Crash

A major part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) mission is to reduce the number and severity of semi truck crashes. To this end, they often conduct studies to determine what the current trends in causes of trucking crashes are. From this information they are able to make recommendations to safety officials and, hopefully, save the lives of thousands of motorists.

Taking a Closer Look at Truck Driver Distraction

One of the latest published studies centers on the role that trucker distraction plays in 18 wheeler crashes in Dallas, TX and across the country. To perform the study the FMCA placed sensors and video cameras in fleet trucks. 203 truckers were part of the distracted driver study. The monitors continuously collected data over 3 million miles of travel. The study is the largest of its kind and offers invaluable insight into the impact of driver distraction.

Highlights From the Study

The FMCSA study focused primarily on the role of distracted driving before and during a critical event. A critical event is described as, "crashes, near-crashes, crash relevant conflicts (less severe near-crashes) and unintentional lane deviations". The following list represents some of the more important findings of the study:

·        4,452 safety-critical events were observed

·        81.5% of these events involved some form of driver distraction

·        21 crashes occurred, along with 197 near-crashes

·        Distracted behaviors that significantly contributed to critical events include: texting, cleaning a mirror or rummaging through a bag, interacting with dispatching device or two way radio, writing on a note pad, using calculator, dialing cell phone and reading a book, newspaper or paperwork.

What the Study Tell us About Distracted Truckers in Texas

Above all, the study shows that truck drivers fall victim to many of the same distractions everyday commuters do. While any distracted driver is a dangerous driver, the size of a semi truck means that a crash with one is more serious than most. Texas crashes with 18 wheelers take the lives of at least 400 people a year. Hopefully, the study will help the trucking industry tighten regulations that govern distracted drivers. Positive change cannot take place until truckers and trucking companies take driver distraction seriously and work to prevent it.

The staff and attorneys at the Hart Law Firm would like to see an end to the terrible crashes that injure and kill thousands of Texans. Hopefully, studies such as this one will effect positive change and save lives.
 

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