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How much do distractions impact truck drivers?

When an individual gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, there are numerous dangers that the motorist could encounter. While many of these hazards are outside of the vehicle -- such as hazards on the roadway, reckless drivers and inclement weather -- some of these dangers occur within the vehicle. Moreover, drivers of automobiles and large trucks encounter these potential dangers every time the person drives. This is, of course, referring to distracted driving. And while distractions to the driver do not always lead to an accident, they have the tendency to interfere with response time and the ability to drive safely.

How much do distractions impact truck drivers? In order to measure how much distractions impact truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used driver simulators in a recent study. With the use of motion-based driving simulators, the study focused on two common handheld devices that are a major issues for distracted driving today -- a touchscreen audio player and a cell phone.

The study required the truck driver to use these devices at various points on the simulated highway. Some scenarios during the simulation included external distractions as well in order to provide accurate results regarding the usage of these devices while a truck driver is driving.

The results of the study indicated that lane deviation followed by speed violations were the most common type of driver errors occurring due to these distractions. The decreased attention of a driver due to audio players and cellphones suggested that these distractions put truck drivers in near accident situations.

Following a truck crash, it is important that investigation is used to determine the cause and fault of the accident. If a distracted truck driver caused the crash, those harmed in the incident could hold the driver responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused by the incident. Civil actions such as a personal injury claim or a wrongful death suit could help recover compensation that could be used to cover these expenses and losses.

Source: Ntl.bts.gov, "Using Driver Simulators to Measure the Impact of Distracted Driving on Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators," accessed Nov. 22, 2015

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