The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has issued new findings reporting that truckers who text message while driving their trucks increase their chances of getting involved in a truck crash or a near-truck accident by 23 times. The study also notes that while car drivers place themselves most at risk when dialing cellular phones while driving, a cell phone dialing truck driver is 5.9 times as likely to get into a truck crash—compared to a car driver, who is 2.8 times more likely to get involved in a car accident while dialing a phone.
Even just reaching for an electronic device increases the traffic accident risks for both truck drivers and car drivers. The trucker’s chances of crashing becomes 6.7 times greater, compared to a car driver, whose chances increase by 1.4 times.
The study used research conducted between 2004 to 2007. According to Rich Hanowski, the transportation institute’s Center for Truck and Bus Safety director, the greatest risk that text messaging poses for truckers and other drivers is that the motorists are looking at their phones or electronic devices and not the roads.
Hanowski says that studies show that drivers have been known to spend nearly five seconds with their eyes off the road when checking their phones or electronic devices—and while this amount of time may not sound very long, it is enough time for a catastrophic accident to happen. Just think, in 4.6 seconds a vehicle traveling at 55mph while have traveled an entire football field’s length—imagine how many vehicles the driver may fail to see while checking a text message.
Some 200 truck drivers from seven trucking fleets took part in two studies. One study was conducted in 2004. The second one was concluded in 2007. Most of the texting data came from the second study. 21 crashes and 197 near accidents occurred. Software was used to identify these incidents. Software identified 37 near collisions that occurred while the truck drivers were texting.
Truck drivers cannot afford to text message or talk on a cell phone while driving. If you were injured in an Oregon truck crash because the trucker was distracted, you need to speak with a Portland, Oregon personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
How the Driving Tests Were Conducted, New York Times, July 27, 2009
More Details About the Findings (PDF)
Related Web Resources:
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Center for Truck and Bus Safety
Contact Portland, Oregon Truck Crash Attorney Matt Kaplan today.