Screen addiction is a new but serious concern on the American roads. Many people have a hard time going more than three or four minutes without looking at their phones. Even those who can ignore their device may have a hard time ignoring a notification that comes in while they are at the wheel.
Any driver interacting with a phone will take their hands off of the wheel and mentally distract themselves. Most people recognize that texting while driving is a dangerous habit, but they may do it anyway.
People tend to overestimate their own driving skills, and truck drivers aren’t immune to that human folly. Nor are they less susceptible to screen addiction or the desire to remain in constant contact with friends and family members. Unfortunately, while any driver texting at the wheel could cause a crash, truck drivers could potentially cause catastrophic wrecks if they indulged in distraction.
A single text can mean a lot of unmonitored road
For a driver traveling at 55 miles an hour, looking down at a phone to type out a text message could mean traveling a significant distance without looking at road conditions. Just five seconds of attention to a screen at that speed will mean someone travels the distance of a football field.
This is particularly concerning for big commercial vehicles because they take a lot longer to stop or maneuver than smaller vehicles when traffic conditions change. That is likely one of the reasons why the federal government has a no-text rule that applies to all commercial drivers and all manual data entry or screen use while driving.
Distraction remains a top cause of commercial crashes
Being at the wheel all day isn’t easy, and truck drivers may use their phones to help them stay alert or connected to their support networks. Unfortunately, using a phone while at the wheel can drastically increase someone’s likelihood of causing a wreck.
When a commercial driver causes the crash, they often cause major injuries for the people in the smaller vehicle while escaping virtually unscathed themselves. They might feel confident because of the size of their vehicle and not consider how their negligent behavior could affect the public. Those impacted by a commercial trucking crash caused by distraction may have grounds for an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit.
Holding truck drivers accountable when they cause commercial crashes can help protect your family from the lasting financial consequences of the wreck.