All drivers have a duty to put down their cellphones and pay attention to the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving is a lead cause of serious and fatal crashes in Texas and across the United States. In 2018, there were 2,841 reported traffic fatalities and 400,000 estimated injuries across the U.S. that were linked to distracted driving.
Just like passenger car drivers, truck drivers are susceptible to this type of behavior. In fact, distracted driving is a common cause of crashes involving large commercial trucks. With a fully-loaded trailer, a large truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs. That's why truck crashes often cause a great deal of damage and injury or death to others on the road.
How much has distracted driving increase among truck drivers?
Fleet management software company Truce Software is used by many fleet owners to monitor and block out certain cellphone functions when a truck driver is on duty. In a recent data analysis, the cellphone use of truck drivers in 120,000 unique vehicles was monitored since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
According to the data analysis, the average increase in cellphone use per 100 miles was:
- Outbound texts — 20%
- Inbound texts — 26.4%
- Inbound phone calls — 30.8%
- Drivers attempting to use apps — 26.5%
There is some speculations as to why distracted driving may have increased among truck drivers during the pandemic. The reasons for this include:
- Less face-to-face communication: More people in general are relying on mobile technology to communicate with others.
- Trucking industry administrators working from home: Many people who work in the trucking industry are working remotely and don't have access to the same means of on-site communication.
- Keeping up with news and current events: The world has become a crazy place within the last few months. Many people have the urge to tune into current news and events by using social media or mobile news apps.
Speeding has increased during the pandemic
A data analysis by Samsara, an ELD and fleet management technology provider, found a 20 percent increase in truck drivers traveling at a speed of 11 mph or more over the speed limit.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, truck drivers have been placed under increased pressure to deliver commercial goods and essential items. With little time to deliver such a large quantity of items, truck drivers may be more compelled now than ever to speed.
In addition, the trucking industry has had a greater need for drivers to keep up with the demands. This could lead to the hiring of inexperienced drivers or drivers with previous incidents of reckless driving.
Contact a Waco attorney if you were hurt in a truck crash
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with a distracted or speeding truck driver, you need a strong legal advocate on your side who can launch an in-depth investigation and work tirelessly to help you build a solid claim.
Truck drivers and the companies that employ them have a duty to take safety precautions. The truck accident attorneys at Chad Jones Law are dedicated to holding them accountable when they fail to do so. We are also dedicated to helping injured motorists and their families get compensated to the fullest extent for all economic and non-economic damages.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us online and schedule your free legal consultation.