It is a well-known fact that texting and driving can kill. However, this fact has not stopped big-rig drivers from texting while working. A huge commercial truck that hits another car does not leave much hope for the survival of the person behind the wheel of the other vehicle.
According to the Virgina Tech Transportation Institute, texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident. Texting is a deadly distraction that kills, yet it is not often regarded as a severe crime. Supposedly, it does not impair a driver’s judgment, it just distracts the driver. This is rather backward reasoning, as distracted driving automatically impairs the driver’s judgment due to lack of attention.
According to the DoT, Pennsylvania had the fourth-highest fatality accident rate, with 177 deaths in 2012 involving buses and large trucks. Texas had 589 deaths, with California and Florida following closely behind in position two and three.
Texting truckers have caught the attention of lawmakers who want to restrict texting while driving. It is an admirable goal, but if truckers observe the law inconsistently, it cannot effectively reduce fatal accidents. Nonetheless, federal lawmakers want to force all states to adopt laws that ban texting while driving.
The trucking industry is not happy with that idea, because the proposed ban would prohibit all e-devices in cabs, including the computer systems that help them navigate.
It takes at least four seconds for a trucker to read a message sent while he or she is behind the wheel. It takes less than one second to get into an accident.
Underlying the trucking industry’s lack of enthusiasm for changes in laws is a need to operate in a profitable manner. Opposite their desire to make money is the government, wanting to make the roads safer for other drivers. The theory behind stricter legislation with heavy-duty fines is that if a trucking company has to pay out enough in fines, it will police itself to bring costs down.