No one needs to tell you that far too many Pennsylvania motorists drive while distracted. What you may not realize, however, is that even professional truck drivers often engage in the dangerous practice of distracted driving, especially by using their cellphones while behind the wheel.
No one likewise need tell you that if you crash into a tractor-trailer or one crashes into you, you and your passengers face a grave risk of serious injury or even death. According to authorities, one truck driver watching a porn video on his cellphone recently killed a highway worker in Minnesota.
Distracted driving types
TCI Capital explains that truck drivers can, and often do, become distracted in the following three separate ways:
- Manually when they remove their hands from their truck’s steering wheel
- Visually when they stop watching the road in order to watch their cellphone or other electronic device
- Mentally when they stop thinking about their driving in order to focus on something else
The main danger of cellphone usage while driving is that it causes the truck driver to engage in all three types of distraction.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has joined the fight against cellphone usage by truckers by severely fining them if and when law enforcement officers catch them using their cellphones while driving. A driver faces a fine of up to $2,700 for engaging in this practice. And the trucking company for which (s)he works faces an $11,000 fine if it requires its drivers to use any kind of hand-held device while driving.
Despite these deterrents, however, numerous truck drivers still persist in talking, texting or otherwise using their cellphones while behind the wheel, risking not only their own lives, but also the lives of you and your passengers.
You should not interpret this information as legal advice, but it can help you understand the dangers you face from distracted truckers.