Trucks, texting a deadly mix

truck for texting postA study of professional truckers indicates that even pros are severely handicapped while text messaging behind the wheel.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s study found that the truckers were 23 times more likely to get in a wreck while texting. The researchers placed video cameras in the cabs of long-haul trucks over a year and a half period. About 100 truck drivers participated.

In the collisions recorded by the cameras, drivers typically looked at their text messaging devices for five seconds before the accident, the New York Times said in reporting on the Virginia Tech texting study.

The video cameras were focused on drivers’ faces in the seconds before a crash or a near-miss.

Researchers said the danger of crashing while texting applies to all drivers, since they did not find texting behaviors out of the ordinary among the professional truck drivers. The institute is also studying teenagers who text while driving, and the results seem in line with the trucker data.

The estimate that drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to crash is significantly higher than other studies have reported.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration helped pay for the texting and trucking study.

Virginia Tech and the University of Utah are among the most active research operations looking at various forms of distracted driving.

Comments

  1. What’s really scary is truckers on cell phones barrelling up and down the interstate. I can’t count the number of truck drivers that I see on the NJTP yapping away on a cell phone that they are holding up to their ear nearest the driver side window. This, for many reasons, is scary.

    Those trucks are huge and they tend to sway over the lines as it is – but when fully engrossed in a cell conversation to the point that they are blocking out their own peripheral vision by limiting their view out of their driver side window so they can hold that stupid little phone up to their ear is ridiculous.

    Driving while talking, much less texting, on a cellular device doesn’t make you look cool, hip or uber important – but depending on the extent of injuries you could suffer in an accident due in large part to distracted driving – the funeral home could have a doosey of a time trying to get you to look recognizable for an open casket funeral. Sorry to be so blunt – but if it takes throwing a potential worst case scenario out there to get folks attention with this subject – so be it.

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