Drivers of passenger vehicles have to share the road with smaller and larger vehicles. They need to be aware of pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on bicycles, while also watching out for themselves when driving close to large commercial vehicles. If you're like most people, you likely take steps to keep yourself, and your passengers, safe on the road.
Unfortunately, the people in the other vehicles may not be as attentive or cautious as you are. Even the people in the larger commercial trucks on the road with you could choose to engage in dangerous behaviors that increase your risk of a crash with them.
Distraction is a constant temptation for modern adults, including commercial truck drivers. When a truck driver chooses to text and drive, they could very well cause catastrophic injuries to other people. Distraction remains a common cause of crashes.
Distracted truck drivers aren't watching the road
Commercial trucks are harder to drive than the average civilian vehicle. They make huge turns, have difficulty stopping quickly and pose a significant risk to anyone on the street. Even from the outside, it is simple to see that driving a commercial truck likely requires a significant amount of focus and attention.
Staying focused and alert for many hours at a time is a difficult task. Truck drivers may feel isolated or cut off by their long shifts and constant traveling. That could motivate them to reach out to family and loved ones via their mobile devices. Cellphones are a great way to stay in touch. However, they are also a dangerous distraction on the road.
When people text, they take their eyes off the street and their hands off the wheel. That kind of behavior is dangerous enough for someone driving a passenger vehicle. For a commercial driver, it could be deadly.
The people in the smaller vehicle hit by a commercial truck could very well suffer fatal injuries as a result of the crash. After all, commercial trucks can cause the total annihilation of smaller vehicles, depending on the nature of the collision.
It is against driving regulations for commercial drivers to text
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place intended to keep the road as safe as possible. In addition to eliminating alcohol use by commercial drivers and setting limits for how long they can drive at any given time, the FMCSA has rules in place against manual use of a mobile device at the wheel.
Even dialing a number on a phone could violate the no text rule. Commercial drivers who get caught texting could end up facing steep fines and the loss of their eligibility for commercial driving. If they cause a crash, that negligence will likely give their victims the right to seek compensation through a lawsuit against the driver.