North Carolina Truck Accidents are 23 Times More Likely to Happen When a Trucker is Texting

August 11, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although texting while driving will be banned in North Carolina beginning December 2009, that doesn’t mean that car drivers and truckers shouldn’t give up this dangerous form of distracted driving as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, a new Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study is reporting that truck drivers increase their crash risk by 23 times whenever they text. Can you imagine how many lives are endangered every time a trucker decides to take his or her eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel of an 18-wheeler truck or a tractor-trailer just to read or compose a text message?

According to the study, which involved 203 truckers who collectively traveled at least 3 million miles, texting is dangerous because truck drivers appeared to be spending at least 4.6 seconds not looking at the road when checking their electronic devices. Not looking at the road for more than 2 seconds can prove deadly. If a truck driver is driving his or her truck at a speed of 55 mph, 4.6 seconds is enough time for the trucker to have driven the distance equivalent to the length of a football field. Think of how many cars, buses, or motorcycles a truck driver might fail to see during that time.

This news is a good wake up call for anyone who may have lingering doubts about how dangerous texting while driving can be regardless of what kind of vehicle you are driving. Large truck drivers especially must take heed because in most cases, it is the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved in a North Carolina truck accident that have the greater chance of getting seriously hurt.

Meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced new large truck braking regulation. Whereas before, tractor- traveling at 65 mph speeds had to stop completely within 355 feet, the new rule requires that they stop within 250 feet. The new standard, which is a 30% improvement of the current stopping distance, will be phased in over a four-year period starting with 2012 models.

The NHTSA hopes that 227 truck accident deaths and 300 injuries will be prevent each year.

Tough New Braking Rules For Large Trucks Will Save Hundreds of Lives Annually, NHTSA, July 24, 2009

Texting and Driving Don’t Mix, The Washington Post, July 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Cell Phone Driving Laws, GHSA


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute


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