The Dangers of Distracted Truck Drivers

Truck accidents caused by distracted driving can be devastating, especially for people subjected to the impact. It’s a fact that many types of distractions can draw a truck driver’s attention off the road. Furthermore, long delivery schedules demand hours of focus on driving. Maintaining that degree of concentration takes discipline.

What Makes Distraction More Dangerous with Large Trucks?

On the whole, standard semi-trucks have 10 gears. However, some can have up to 18 gears. Needless to say, driving a big rig requires substantial skill and the shifting alone makes it more taxing than driving a car.

According to, it only takes three seconds for a crash to occur once a driver is distracted. Another fact is that 16.71% of large truck/car crash fatalities occur due to distracted driving.

In an attempt to reduce distracted driving accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned texting and cell phone use by truck drivers.

What Types of Distractions Can Draw a Truck Driver’s Attention from the Road?

In addition to texting and driving, other forms of distraction include:

  • Eating or drinking beverages while driving
  • Using laptop computers
  • Adjusting music or radio devices
  • Listening to television or a radio (most trucks have TV’s in the back of the cab)
  • Talking with a team driver (some companies use a team of two drivers for around the clock driving)

How Can Attorneys Prove Truck Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving?

The FMCSA requires all commercial trucks to have electronic logging devices (ELDs), also referred to as black boxes.

The device records data received through the truck’s sensors. Whatever occurred with the truck during the five or 10 seconds preceding a collision is on record. The types of data available include:

  • The truck’s speed
  • Application of brakes
  • Steering changes
  • Number of consecutive hours driven

Attorneys have access to ELD information, and accident specialists can determine whether the truck driver braked within a reasonable amount of time. Failure to brake may indicate distraction. The data is also useful for determining speed violations.

Put an Experienced Lawyer on Your Side to Protect Your Rights

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz has decades of experience representing seriously injured victims involved in truck accidents. Wherever clients live in Texas, from Fort Worth to Corpus Christi, we can help. We offer a free consultation to discuss your potential case.