The Risks of Distracted Driving in California

California law prohibits texting while driving and requires drivers to use hands-free equipment when talking on their cellphones. However, many drivers do not comply, and this law is not enough in itself to prevent all distracted driving, particularly for truck drivers.

Commercial truck drivers typically spend many hours on the road, which means that, at some point, many of them may be eating behind the wheel, which can be a distraction. Additionally, even if some carriers adhere to the law and prohibit their employees or contractors from using their cellphones while driving, they may still require drivers to respond to their dispatch radios immediately. The pressure to quickly respond to a radio, and the need to discuss work instructions while driving, could easily lead a truck driver to have an accident.

What exacerbates the risk of truck accidents is the common misconception that it is safe to look down at a phone or radio for one or two seconds. Contrary to what many believe, one or two seconds can be enough to cause a serious and even fatal accident, particularly when the accident involves a large truck. One second at 50 mph is enough time for a driver to cross the whole length of many tractor-trailers. Three seconds at the freeway speed limit is enough to take a vehicle from one end of a football field to the other.

It is easy for anyone to get distracted while driving from time to time, but the stakes are higher the faster the driver is traveling and the larger the vehicle. People who have been harmed in big rig accidents caused by a distracted truck driver may want to consult with a California personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar types of cases.

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