The inside of a truck cab offers more electronics and gadgets than ever before. A trucker can monitor how his truck and engine are performing, GPS mapping to stay on the right route, email communications with his dispatcher, cell phone conversations with family, and perhaps a reckless few play a movie or surf the web while driving.
A recent study of driver distraction by Volvo concludes:
It is positive that the number of safety and information systems in modern vehicles is increasing. Taken individually, they offer many benefits as regards traffic safety and productivity, for instance, but the driver does risk being over-burdened by too much information. Especially bearing in mind that many drivers also have their mobile phones and perhaps also a GPS navigator in the vehicle. In order not to jeopardise traffic safety, we have developed solutions that allow all the systems to interact smoothly,
If you are driving 60 mph and take your eyes off the road for three seconds, you will drive the equivalent length of a football field without knowing what’s going on around you. Therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that a major 2006 study, sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech, found that nearly 80% of crashes, and 65% of near-crashes, involved some form of driver inattention, such as cell phone use and drowsiness, within three seconds before the event.
The reports a study last year found high numbers of drivers who were distracted by talking on cell phones, sending text messages, reading the newspaper and even shaving while driving. A followup study cites the availability of technology was mentioned by 35% as the reason distracted driving is so common, and 48% considered cell phones and other technology use to be the most dangerous distraction. Nearly half of teens and Gen Y drivers blamed having to stay connected socially as a reason why they drive while distracted. For boomers, the pressure was more work-related.
When I started out as a young prosecutor, public awareness of the problem of drinking while driving was nowhere near what it is now. It was too often a matter of jokes rather than revulsion.
It appears that public awareness of the dangers of cell phone use and texting while driving is now about where awareness of drinking and driving was in the late seventies.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia. Ken Shigley specializes in cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, bus wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks. Recently elected Secretary of the State Bar of Georgia, Ken Shigley has been as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. A former chair of both the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and the Georgia Insurance Law Institute, he is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy..