Drivers in Mississippi and elsewhere are more distracted by their cell phones than ever before, according to a recent study by AAA. While the thought of a distracted driver behind the wheel of a passenger vehicle is scary enough, the notion of a distracted truck driver operating a 26,000-pound vehicle is downright terrifying.
The AAA study found that distracted driving is now the biggest danger to all people on the road. It also found that 88 percent of Americans believe that distracted driving is getting worse. In comparison, only 45 percent are concerned about drunk driving, a mere 33 percent are concerned about drugged driving and just 20 percent are concerned about aggressive driving.
Trucking companies looking to combat distracted driving among its drivers face an uphill battle. This is because most drivers think nothing bad will happen to them. One way to help establish the importance of the issue is for companies to help drivers understand the science behind distracted driving. For example, distracted driving comes in three main forms: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three forms of distraction. Furthermore, a truck driver can blindly travel the length of a football field in the 5 seconds it takes to send or read a text message. That’s an eternity for a massive vehicle to operate unattended. To start, trucking companies may need to make rules that require drivers to pull over to send text messages or eat meals. However, sustainable change will require companies to push for a workplace culture that prioritizes safety.
Thousands of truck accidents are caused by inattentive truck drivers every year. Victims of such accidents have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses. Injured individuals may want to contact an attorney to learn about their legal rights.