Posted on: January 20, 2010
At this year’s Distracted Driving Summit, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood touted the fact that his work has led to a ban on commercial drivers from texting while driving. Last year, he proposed the legislature to make texting on the job illegal for commercial bus and truck drivers and talking on a cell phone illegal for train operators. That legislature is now in place. But are truck driver’s really the ones we have to worry about on the road? This article brings up some good points. Sure, trucking accidents typically have catastrophic outcomes considering their shear size, but truck drivers may be getting a bad rap.
The AAA Foundation conducted research on trucking accidents and compared that with information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to come up with some statistics on such accidents. They found that in 73% of trucking accidents, the truck driver wasn’t acting negligently or unsafe, according to this article. In fact, car drivers are 10 times more likely to cause a head-on collision with a truck than vice versa, and are four times more likely to rear-end a truck than the other way around.
The drivers of passenger vehicles are also more likely to speed in poor road conditions, such as rain or fog, and are 8 times more likely to cause an accident due to drowsiness than truck drivers. As a personal injury lawyer in South Carolina , I thought this article brought up a very good point that truck drivers are “on the job” while operating a big rig. So they’re more likely to focus and act professional than someone who has just gotten off work and is running errands.
Don’t get me wrong though, I agree that commercial truck and bus drivers shouldn’t be allowed to text or use a cell phone while operating a vehicle. However, the distracted driving epidemic is overwhelmingly caused by car drivers, so shouldn’t tougher legislature target them?