At Cathey & Strain in Georgia, we represent numerous clients who have been injured in a crash with a truck. Consequently, we know all too well how dangerous it can be for you and your passengers when a huge truck more than twice the size and weight of your vehicle crashes into you or vice versa.
We also know that distracted over-the-road truck drivers continue to pose a hazard on America’s streets and highways. In July, one such driver, who authorities say was watching a porn video at the time he crashed, killed a Minnesota highway worker.
TCI Capital reports that commercial truck drivers frequently exhibit one or more of the three classic types of distraction:
- Manual distraction when the driver removes his or her hands from the steering wheel in order to do something else with them
- Visual distraction when the driver removes his or her eyes from the road in order to do something else with them
- Cognitive distraction when the driver fails to pay attention to his or her driving in order to use his or her mind for something else
Unfortunately, should a commercial truck driver choose to engage in the highly dangerous practice of talking, texting or watching a video on his or her cellphone while behind the wheel, (s)he engages in all three forms of distraction at once. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these kinds of choices put everyone else in the vicinity of his or her truck in real danger.
Such actions on the part of over-the-road truckers are not without the potential of major penalties for the driver himself or herself as well as for the company that employs him or her. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that a driver caught using his or her cellphone or other hand-held device while behind the wheel must pay a large fine that could amount to as much as $2,700. A similar FMCSA regulation calls for a maximum fine of $11,000 for any trucking company that requires its drivers to use any kind of hand-held device while driving.
While you would think that with the potential of such large fines hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles, commercial trucking companies and their drivers would refrain from using cellphones and other hand-held devices when they’re out on the road. Such, however, is not the case, as the problem of distracted truck drivers grows ever worse rather than better.
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