Distracted driving can be especially dangerous when the distracted driver is behind the wheel of a truck. This is because a fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weights between 4,000 to 5,000 pounds which can result in catastrophic accidents. For that reason, it is important for truck drivers to refrain from distracted driving and for victims to be familiar with protections available to them.
Truck drivers need to avoid distracted driving
One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving for any driver is texting while driving. Truck drivers are prohibited by federal law from texting while driving. Texting while driving includes short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, accessing webpages or pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate voice communication. Truck drivers are limited to only hands-free use of cell phones.
A distracted truck driver is 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event than a truck driver who is not distracted. On average, drivers who are texting remove their eyes from the roadway for 4.6 seconds. While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that amounts to driving the length of a football field without looking at the roadway.
Protections for victims of truck accidents
Victims of distracted truck drivers should understand the different legal protections available to them when they have been injured by a negligent truck driver in a truck accident.
Truck accidents can seriously harm victims physically, financially and emotionally. A personal injury claim for damages may be able to help with their suffering and allow them to recover compensation for their damages.