While the dangers of distracted driving are well known, many drivers continue to engage in these unsafe practices. The risks that someone will suffer catastrophic injuries or death increases dramatically when the distracted driver is behind the wheel of a semi-truck. This is especially true on the congested roads and highways throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second or two can lead to devastating consequences for the victims of a wreck.
Common Ways Distracted Truck Drivers Cause Wrecks Throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a person’s attention off his driving. Truckers must drive for long hours without a break, and the temptation to do other things to break the monotony and stay awake is great. Here are some of the most common ways truckers put you in danger:
- Texting. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a trucker who texts is 23.2 times more likely to cause a crash or near crash than one who does not. When a trucker is reading or composing a text, his eyes are off the road for at least 4.6 seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, he could travel the length of a football field without even realizing it and cause a crash. Although texting and driving is illegal under federal regulations, negligent truckers continue to do it.
- Talking on a cellphone. Talking on a cellphone can be as distracting as texting. While hands-free use of a cellphone is permitted under federal regulations, it still takes the trucker’s attention off the task of driving, increasing the chance of a crash.
- Eating and drinking. Some truckers will eat and drink when they drive so that they can deliver their load faster. However, this takes a trucker’s eyes off the road, his mind off his driving, and his hand off the steering wheel.
- Reading a GPS. Truckers often drive in unfamiliar areas and use a GPS or navigation app to help them quickly locate where they are going. When they are focused on reading directions while driving, a horrific crash can be the consequence.
- Talking to a co-driver. Some trucking companies have two drivers on a trip so that one can drive while the other one rests. Co-drivers in the cab can be distracting if they get in a heated conversation with the driver or try to show the driver something on their phone.
- Adjusting instrument controls. Adjusting the temperature, changing radio stations, and adjusting other instrument controls also can take a driver’s attention off his driving for vital seconds when he may need to take actions to avoid causing a crash.
Proving the negligent trucker was distracted often involves obtaining records and other documents from the trucking company and the trucker, which would be impossible to do on your own. Our experienced truck crash attorneys can collect this information and other evidence you need so that you receive what you deserve in your settlement. We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured truck crash victims in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.