Large trucks on America’s interstates and highways are a common sight for most drivers. It’s impossible to take a vacation or Texas road trip without seeing lots of large commercial semi-trucks and fuel tankers on the road. Although most car drivers are cautious when passing or riding next to large trucks, many don’t realize how dangerous it really is.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial truck drivers are often distracted while behind the wheel and this causes a significant number of large-truck crashes. Studies show that approximately 70 percent of truckers are not carefully focused on the road. As we all know, distracted driving contributes to a large number of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., but distracted driving behind the wheel of a loaded 18-wheeler is especially dangerous. In Texas, an 18-wheeler accident lawyer Houston knows that large truck accidents often have fatal consequences.
Long-haul truck drivers spend days on the road. On long stretches of rather barren highways, truck drivers are prone to a number of distractions while driving:
Although cellphone use while driving is now against the law in most states, many drivers still talk and text behind the wheel. Young drivers between the ages of 18 and 30 are the primary culprits, but commercial truckers run a close race. Federal Motor Carrier Safety studies show that cellphone use is a common cause of serious trucking accidents and injuries in the U.S.
Eating and Drinking
Many people try to maximize their schedule by eating meals while driving, even though it’s not safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating a meal while driving is actually more distracting that cellphone use because it takes your hands off the wheel. If food or drinks spill on the seat or fall in the floor, most drivers bend over to pick them up.
For truck drivers, drowsy driving is a common problem. Long hours on the road, limited rest stops, and monotonous scenery can easily lull you into a state of sleepiness. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive without rest, many truckers push those limits to increase their pay checks. Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C. commonly sees commercial trucking accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Large commercial trucks deliver goods to businesses and distribution warehouses, so having correct driving directions is essential. Some truckers have navigational systems in their trucks, but many still rely on paper road maps for driving directions. Safety experts warn that taking your eye off the road to look at a GPS screen or navigate a road map, even for a few seconds, can have fatal consequences.