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Truckers in Kentucky should avoid distracted driving

A person in Lexington who is operating a motor vehicle while distracted is a danger to everyone else on the road. This is especially true of semi-truck drivers, whose massive vehicles can inflict serious damages if involved in a crash. In fact, a 2009 study reports that just over 70 percent of motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks took place when the truck driver was distracted.

There are a number of ways a semi-truck driver can be distracted. One reason a semi-trucker might not pay attention to the road is if they are looking at something outside of their vehicle. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that around 11,000 semi-truck accidents across the United States were due to the trucker being distracted by something outside of their vehicle.

Then, of course, there is texting while driving. This is illegal for all commercial motor vehicle drivers. This is because sending or receiving a text message means the driver takes his or her eyes off the road, his or her hands off the steering wheel and his or her attention away from the task of driving. In fact, if a driver stops paying attention to the road in order to send a text message, even if this inattention is only for five seconds, this is the same as driving the length of a football field with one's eyes closed. Similarly, truckers should not dial a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Truckers should also avoid using a dispatching device while behind the wheel. While these devices are a useful tool, these devices take a trucker's mind, hands and eyes off the road. This behavior is referred to as "texting for truckers."

In addition, truckers should avoid reading directions or maps while behind the wheel. If they need to read a map or directions, they should pull over to do so. While GPS units are a safer option, truckers should take care not to press buttons on the GPS unit while operating their vehicles, as this is also a distraction.

As this shows, there are numerous ways in which a trucker can be distracted while driving. The sheer size and weight of their vehicles means that if they are involved in a truck accident it could lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. Therefore, those who have suffered damages due to an accident caused by a distracted trucker may want to research their legal options for pursuing compensation.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, "CMV Driving Tips - Driver Distraction," March 31, 2015

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