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Why distraction is especially dangerous for commercial drivers

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Commercial trucks are enormous and more difficult to operate than passenger vehicles, which is why drivers must be licensed, trained and fit to drive.

They must also refrain from distracted driving. For the reasons we discuss below, failing to stay attentive behind the wheel of a commercial truck can prove to be catastrophic for the people sharing the road with a distracted trucker.

Trucks take longer to stop

Fully loaded commercial trucks have longer stopping distances than passenger vehicles. It can take large trucks more than five seconds to come to a stop on a highway. In those seconds, they can travel more than 500 feet. Because of this, truckers must be attentive. They must give other vehicles space and stay alert to slowing or stopped traffic.

Tragically, drivers who aren’t paying attention can rear-end other vehicles when they cannot stop their trucks in time. They can crush cars, injuring or killing occupants. They can also cause secondary crashes and chain reactions that result in devastating damages to several parties.

They can jackknife and rollover

When truckers are distracted, they risk overcorrecting or making sharp movements that render a truck inoperable. They can jackknife or rollover, striking other vehicles, blocking roadways and spilling cargo.

Paying attention gives truck drivers the time and space to navigate potential obstacles and winding roads more safely. If they are distracted, they can wind up making split-second decisions that cause them to lose control of their rig.

Trucks cause incredible damage

Commercial vehicles can cause incredible damage in a collision due to their weight and size. And often, those outside the truck are the ones who bear the brunt of the damage.

In fact, a truck driver may hit someone or crash into something without suffering any injuries. They may not even know they have been in an accident. Thus, when a driver is not focused on the road, they may not immediately realize they have struck another vehicle, crushed a pedestrian or crossed over a median.

Holding distracted truckers accountable

Truck drivers know the risks of getting distracted behind the wheel. They know they aren’t supposed to do things like use their cellphone or try to multi-task.

Thus, when a trucker does cause an accident due to distraction, injured parties and their families will want to explore their legal options to hold that driver accountable for damages.