Plenty of people check their phones during their work day. According to one study, people check their phones an average of 85 times per day, and this does not exclude time in the office. But when someone’s office is the cab of a tractor trailer, reaching for the phone could cause a serious accident or death. Even with restrictions and bans on cell phone use while driving, truck drivers still engage in distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 there were over 3,000 fatalities in the U.S. in crashes that involved a distracted driver. More than 400 of these involved cell phone usage. Driving while using a cell phone without a hands-free device was banned nationally for truck drivers in 2012. Some drivers still engage in this highly dangerous practice, as a Chicago truck accident lawyer could report.
Tragedy Follows Distracted Driving
One of the most tragic distracted driving accidents in Chicago took place in just the last year. A mother and her two young children were all struck and killed by a distracted truck driver at the intersection of 43rd and Ashland. The truck driver, who was only 23 years old at the time of the accident, did not even realize that he had hit anyone.
Distracted driving does not only involve cell phone usage. Other activities can be just as dangerous for truck drivers and their fellow travelers. Some of the other highly dangerous activities that truck drivers still engage in while driving include:
- Eating while driving
- Checking maps and directions
- Tuning the radio
All of these activities and others can be just as dangerous as texting or talking while driving, even if cell phone usage receives the most attention. These statistics are truly frightening. For example, a trucker is 23 times more likely to crash while texting. A truck driver reaching for a phone is 6.7 times more likely to crash, and 5.9 times more likely to crash while dialing a cell phone.
Rates of distracted driving appear to be on the decline, but there are still some truckers who disregard all of the evidence and continue to drive while distracted. People affected by their actions should find the help of a Chicago truck accident lawyer, defend their rights and help to end distracted driving by truckers.