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Could Texting be More Dangerous for Florida Truck Drivers than for Florida Passenger Vehicle Motorists?

While much has been reported in the media about the risks of distracted driving and the dangers of texting while driving, a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute suggests that truck drivers may need to pay attention more than drivers of passenger cars. If truck drivers want to prevent Florida truck accidents, they may need to put down their mobile devices. According to researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the risk of texting behind the wheel is significantly higher for truck drivers than for drivers of passenger vehicles.

According to researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, truck drivers who text while driving are 23 times as likely as an undistracted driver to get into a car accident or truck accident. Car drivers are still more likely to get into a Florida car accident when they text, but their risk is not as high. As well, researchers found that when car drivers dial a cell phone, they are 2.8 times more likely to be in a traffic accident as undistracted drivers. Truck drivers, however, are 5.9 times as likely to be in a crash for the same activity.

Other risky distracted driver behaviors are also more risky for truck drivers than for drivers of passenger vehicles. For example, when a car driver reaches for an electronic device, they risk of being in a car accident is 1.4 times higher than the risk for an undistracted driver. Reaching for a device increases a truck driver’s risky by 6.7 times.

It’s easy to understand why distracted driving is risky. Most drivers need to focus on their cell phones or portable devices when dialing, texting, or talking. As well, most drivers look away from the road when using electronic devices. According to researchers, when drivers are distracted by an electronic device, they spend five out of six seconds not looking at the road. Many Florida pedestrian accidents and traffic accidents occur precisely because drivers do not see what is directly in front of them.

However, while it is easy to see why electronic devices are more dangerous for all drivers, why do truck drivers seem to have a disproportionate risk when using these devices on the road? Experts have many theories. One theory is that trucks simply require more effort and skill to drive. As well, since trucks take longer than passenger vehicles to stop, it is possible that truck drivers who are distracted are simply less able to react in time to prevent an accident.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study used videos of drivers taken between 2004 and 2007 to see how drivers reacted to driving when using cell phones. Researchers concluded that even when drivers use hands-free cell phones, they are increasing their risk of accidents. Researchers of the study recommended that all drivers avoid all electronic devices and gadgets when driving.

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