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New Study Highlights important Distracted Truck Driver Variables


A new study published by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute focusing on distracted driving in truck drivers, specifically, has resulted in both common sense and surprising conclusions. While the study reinforced the obvious reality that visual menial tasks that take someone’s eyes off the road and hands off the wheel pose the biggest risks, the results of the study emphasize which distracted activities, specifically, pose the most danger, and which ones actually result in zero safety risks.

The study involved observing subjects in their driving environment while attempting to answer questions revolving around safety impacts as they are affected by sage and experience of the drivers, distracted driving, drowsy driving, the length of medical certification cards issued to drivers, and the use of cellphones, where existing analyses of crash databases have indicated that driver distraction alone is a primary contributing factor in approximately 25 to 30 percent of crashes.

The Results

The results of the study provided a number of interesting conclusions, including the following:

  • The following hand-held cell phone tasks were associated with an increased odds of involvement with a safety-critical event by almost three to four times: Browsing, answering, holding, locating, reaching for, dialing, texting, and talking or listening on the device, with browsing, holding, and texting all being the highest-risk activities
  • While drowsy drivers were almost two to four times more likely to be involved in an at-fault safety critical event, there was no clear pattern as to an increased drowsiness associated with a certain number of driving hours
  • The first two years of a driver driving a commercial motor vehicle are riskier in terms of crash rates, regardless of age
  • In assessing rates of safety-critical events that occurred over driving hours, there was a significant difference in the comparison of hours one and two, one and three through ten, and two and three through ten, but no difference between hours three through ten
  • The longer the Medical Examiner’s Certificate length, the less likely drivers are to experience a crash or driver-related violation
  • Singing and talking behind the wheel was actually associated with a lower risk of being involved in a safety-critical event

Georgia’s Hands-Free Law

The Hands-Free Georgia Act states that all drivers cannot have a cell phone or similar technology in their hands while driving. Drivers are allowed to use earphones, an electronic watch, and or headsets, but headsets can only be used for communication purposes, not for listening to music. Drivers are also prohibited from sending or reading any text-based communications unless they use voice demands to convert it into written text first. 

If You’ve Been Harmed by Distracted Driving, Contact Our Macon, Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers

It is easy to see how the current law fails to prevent serious distracted driving incidents, as it is arguably confusing and even still allows for activities that have been proven to still be very dangerous on the roads. As a result, far too many people are victims of these distracted driving accidents, every year.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a distracted driving truck accident, contact the Macon, Georgia truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill right away to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.



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