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Trucking and distractions: A lethal combination

Semitruck drivers have to pay keen attention to the roadway. These large trucks are very heavy and are akin to projectile weapons when they are moving along. Distracted truckers can cause crashes that kill or injure innocent people on the roads. Consider these important points if you are sharing the road with semitruck drivers who might be driving distracted.

Distractions come in many forms

Distractions that truckers have to deal with come from a variety of sources. Phone calls, text messages, GPS systems, radios, CBs, eating, other people in the cab, paperwork, and a host of other factors can lead to distractions. Anything that makes the trucker take his or her eyes off the road is a distraction.

Laws address distractions

Federal laws address at least some of the distractions these truckers face. Truckers break the law if they use a cellphone while driving. They do have options if they want to remain in contact with loved ones. They can use hands-free devices to make and receive phone calls. Ear pieces, in-cab speaker and microphone systems, and similar options are ideal. Speech-to-text programs are another option.

Truckers can't even try to reach for a phone or other electronic device while they are operating the vehicle. They must put them in a readily available place if they are going to need to make or take a phone call or use the phone in any manner.

Risks are considerable

The risks of truckers driving while texting are considerable. Safety-critical events, including lane deviations, crashes, and near crashes, occur much more frequently when electronic devices distract truckers. A texting trucker is 23.2 times more likely to have a safety-critical event than a trucker who isn't texting. A trucker who is traveling 55 miles per hour and looks at his or her pone for 4.6 second, which is the average time it takes to check a text, covers the distance of a football field. The trucker's eyes are off the road for that entire length.

What to do if a distracted trucker strikes you

Seeking medical care is a priority if a distracted trucker strikes you. You can get emergency services on the scene by calling 911. Once you have the medical care you need to address the injuries you suffered, you can explore your right to seek compensation. The severity of injuries in these cases sometimes requires the victim to take off work. Compensation can help you recover those lost wages and any other expenses you have becaus e of the accident.

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