An investigation by ABC station WABC in New York City showed that crashes caused by truckers texting and talking on phones while driving are more common than you might think. Cameras set up by WABC on major New York highways caught truck drivers dialing, texting and talking on their cell phones. These are professional drivers operating 80,000 pound vehicles who are more interested in their phones than they are with the lives of the people they are putting at risk.
In one case, the cameras caught a truck driver carrying on two conversations on two separate phones.
Jim Hoffer of WABC asked National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Robert Sumwalt if the consequences for texting while driving are strict enough for truck drivers.
“From your video, that indicates a lot of people driving commercial vehicles that are still using personal electronic devices,” he said. “And that would indicate the enforcement side of it is not strong enough.”
According to the Department of Transportation, nearly 16,000 truckers received tickets for using their phones while driving, but only four of those were suspended and taken out of service.
And obviously the problem is even more prevalent among average citizens. Almost 50% of adults questioned in a recent survey admit that they text and drive, even though nearly all of them know the habit is dangerous. Only 43% of teens acknowledged doing this.
This is a serious and potentially deadly practice because the risk of crashing increases by 23 times when reading/sending a text. It takes the driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.
I’ve handled many of these cases over the past 34 years — and have to represent more and more people injured in crashes caused by DWD — Driving While Distracted. If you have any questions about an auto or truck collision you have been injured in, please call me today at 817-885-8000. I’ll fight to get you the money you deserve.