The hazards of text messaging while driving well known, but a recent study found that the risk is disproportionately higher for truckers than those behind the wheel of a car. The study, which was conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, found that truckers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a traffic crash or get into a near-wreck than an undistracted driver.
The study also found that the greatest risk to car drivers is when they dial a cell phone. A truck driver is 5.9 times more likely than an undistracted driver to get into a motor vehicle accident while dialing a cell phone. Car drivers are 2.8 times more likely. A trucker who reaches for an electronic device increases their accident risk 6.7 times, while a car driver increases risk by 1.4. According to the study, drivers spend five seconds out of a six second window looking away from the road when they are engaged with an electronic device.
The study was based on research from 2004 to 2007, and researchers looked at video footage from cameras inside of vehicles to look at how drivers engage with the road while using their cell phones. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend that drivers forego cell phones while driving, even if they are using a hands-free phone.
Study: Texting while driving more dangerous for truckers, CNN.com, July 28, 2009
Contact a Massachusetts truck accident attorney if you or a loved one has been injured on the road.