Though text messaging while driving is illegal in most states, like Alabama and Mississippi, it continues to be a common occurrence. Likewise, though truck drivers are subject to fines under federal law for using their cellphones while driving, many of them use their cellphones or dispatch radios while on the road. The use of a cellphone or even a radio can lead to truck accidents due to distracted driving.
Drivers often underestimate the damage that can be done by distracted driving. Many people think there is no harm in looking down at their phones for one second, but the reality is that a vehicle can cover a lot of ground during that time. For instance, even at 30 miles per hour, a car would travel 45 feet in one second. For a large truck, which takes longer to stop, there is an even higher risk that one second of distracted driving could lead to a collision.
Truck drivers can also be distracted in other ways, such as by using and looking at a GPS or electronic logging device. Commercial drivers are also more likely to eat while driving. Even if a carrier has certain safety protocols in place for its drivers, the reality is that carriers may nonetheless require the drivers to engage in unsafe practices, such as immediately answering their dispatch radios. Having to respond on demand can easily lead to truck accidents.
Though all drivers should take precautions and be mindful while driving, an accident with a large truck that, say, cuts in front of a car with no notice, may be unavoidable. Individuals who have been the victims of a truck accident should consider consulting with a local personal injury attorney.