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How much do distractions impact truck drivers?

Distractions can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle or fail to respond timely to an oncoming hazard. While addressing distractions for all motorists in West Virginia and elsewhere is crucial, reducing distracted truck drivers is important because these large vehicles frequently cause large-scale accident sites with serious injuries and fatalities.

How much do distractions impact truck drivers? In order to measure this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study by using a driver simulator. The driving simulator put commercial motor vehicle operators in realistic traffic situations and focused on two common handheld devices that contribute to distracted driving: a handheld touchscreen audio device and a cellphone.

The study required that drivers use these devices at different points in the simulation. In addition, some scenarios in the simulation also included external distractions in order to provide more realistic situations, allowing for more accurate results.

According to this study, these two types of devices led to distracted driving. This type of distracted driving resulted in several driver errors with lane deviation being the most frequent, followed by speeding violations. This study illustrated that these two devices led to distractions that could put drivers in near-accident situations.

While the dangers of distracted driving are known, this does not mean that all drivers take necessary steps to avoid distractions. Because of this, serious truck accidents occur. If a distracted truck driver was the cause of a truck crash, victims should be sure to take the necessary steps to hold the driver responsible. This could help victims in their efforts to secure compensation for their losses.

Source:, "Using Driver Simulators to Measure the Impact of Distracted Driving on Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators," accessed Nov. 22, 2015

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