How Texting While Driving Causes Truck Accidents
Posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2022 at 4:29 pm
By now, you have seen the ad campaigns and neon signs lighting up the interstate. Texting and driving is a deadly combination. Yet, if you think texting and driving a car is dangerous, consider the implications of texting while driving a commercial truck. Truck accidents are uniquely devastating when they’re involved in accidents. It is frightening to think how a truck driver texting a simple message can change the course of your life, but it happens on Texas roadways all too often.
At Portner Bond, PLLC, our Beaumont personal injury lawyers want drivers to be armed with the facts when it comes to the dangers of texting and driving. That’s why we want to outline how texting behind the wheel of a large truck causes traumatic accidents.
Why Truck Drivers Text and Drive
There are many reasons that truck drivers choose to text and drive, even when they know the dangers associated with texting. The most obvious reason that most drivers text while behind the wheel is for communication. Truck drivers may need to keep in touch with the trucking company they work for, and texting seems like an easy option. Truck drivers are often away from home for long periods and may feel the need to keep in touch with family and friends through text messages.
Driving large trucks can also be a monotonous and exhausting job. Drivers log long hours and sometimes travel across desolate stretches of road for hours on end. Texting can also be a way to alleviate boredom on the road. If a driver can feel connected to someone, they may feel like time is passing more quickly.
Unfortunately, none of these are good enough reasons to text while behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle. Texting is a major distraction. It is an action that can result in catastrophic consequences for the truck driver or anyone caught in their path.
How Does Texting While Driving Cause Truck Accidents?
Texting behind the wheel is a form of distracted driving. Distracted driving is any action or behavior that takes a driver’s eyes, hands, or attention span off the safe operation of their vehicle. Texting does all three, which is what makes it such dangerous behavior. Texting requires one or both hands to enter a message and hit send. While a driver’s hands are on their phone typing, they are not on the steering wheel of the truck. Large trucks are massive vehicles that require both hands to maneuver safely. Operating a commercial vehicle without both hands is especially hazardous around sharp curves, in inclement weather, and while traveling at high speeds.
Texting doesn’t just occupy a driver’s hands. It diverts their attention away from the road and directs it to a conversation. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in the approximately five seconds it takes to read a text message, a truck going 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a football field. That is an enormous distance to cover with a driver’s eyes never being on the road. A distracted truck driver can miss crucial road signs, signals, or changes in traffic patterns. It takes only seconds for a texting truck driver to cause a massive accident like a rollover, jackknife, or rear-end collision.
Research commissioned by the FMCSA also shows truck drivers who text and drive are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a critical safety event like an accident or near-miss accident. The bottom line is that truck driver who text are a danger to themselves and others.
Are There Rules Against Truck Drivers Texting and Driving?
Yes. The FMCSA prohibits commercial truck drivers from texting while operating their vehicles. Texting is considered any form of manually entering information into an electronic device. The term “texting” includes reading or sending text messages, e-mails, instant messages, entering web page addresses, or anything that requires using more than a single button to initiate a response.
Truck drivers caught texting and driving can face significant penalties for their actions. Drivers can be fined $2,750, and trucking companies who allow or require drivers to text can be fined $11,000. If a driver has multiple convictions on their record for texting while driving, they may even be disqualified by the FMCSA.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Have you been hurt in an accident caused by a texting truck driver? Contact Portner Bond, PLLC for help getting the compensation that you deserve. Our legal team will work hard to hold negligent truck drivers accountable for their actions. Get in touch with us today by calling (409) 838-4444. We will set you up with a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss your situation.