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Distracted truckers can turn a big rig into a deadly weapon

Many people acknowledge that driving while distracted is a horrible idea. No matter what type of vehicle you are driving, you are putting lives at risk when you aren't paying attention to the road. Truckers who opt to do things while they drive are putting many people in danger. The size and weight of those vehicles mean that they are potentially deadly projectiles when the driver isn't giving his or her full attention to the road.

One particular hazard for drivers that exists today is the cellphone. Newer smartphones make it easy to check your email, text and even video chat with people, but doing these while you are driving isn't a good idea. In fact, this is such a danger that there are regulations surrounding the use of phones while driving a commercial vehicle.

Truckers need to ensure that they can maneuver the rig, which means they need both hands free. They don't need a phone in their hand while they are trying to drive. For this reason, using a hands-free method of answering the phone and talking on it is necessary. Bluetooth to the cab speakers and the use of a microphone is an option that truckers have.

Sending texts isn't really easy or safe when you are driving. Truckers should rely on voice-to-text programs if they are going to try to send texts while they drive. These aren't foolproof and some miscommunication might occur, but that is preferable to causing an accident.

Drivers who are on the road with truckers should be aware of what is going on around them. Try to stay away from truckers who seem distracted. If you are hit by a distracted trucker, you might choose to seek compensation for the injuries that you suffered in the crash.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Distracted Driving," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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