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Many Ways to Be Distracted While Driving, But Trucker Who Watched Porn Tops The List

2 comments

As you may know from reading some of my other posts, distracted driving is dangerous. Obviously, texting while driving tops this list as one of the most dangerous driving distractions. In fact, driving while texting or talking on on a cell phone has been linked to an increased risk of a car accident by 23 times. Moreover, driving intexticated is as dangerous as driving after consuming four alcoholic drinks. Recently, Oprah did a show on January 18th that highlighted the dangers of talking or texting while driving. During that episode, she interviewed several people affected by drivers who texted or talked–including a woman whose young daughter was struck and killed. Oprah also talked with a young man who caused an accident that killed a husband and father. Please check out the video for the full interviews.

According to the Department of Transportation, there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual — taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual — taking you hands of the wheel
  • Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing

Also, using a cell phone isn’t the only dangerous driving distraction. Other driving dangers include:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or Mp3 player.

Most recently, an Ohio trucker killed a woman while driving his truck. The woman killed in the accident, 33-year-old Julie Stratton, was pulled over onto the side of the road after hitting a deer. The trucker, 45-year-old Thomas Wallace, struck her with his tractor-trailer and she later died of her injuries. Later, he admitted to authorities that he was actually watching porn on his laptop. Even worse, he also admitted that he kept fictitious logbooks and was actually on duty for 27 hours straight and was operating on approximately 4 hours of sleep when he struck and killed the woman.

Hopefully these sad stories will make you think twice before driving while distracted.

2 Comments

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    That really is quite the distraction. The log book thing does happen and usually involves a lot of investigation and having someone experienced that knows how to ask the right questions.

  2. Truckie D says:
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    What I’d like to know, is where was the driver’s company management when he was running all those hours? When they get sued (and I’m sure they will) I’d like to see the trucking company as a defendant.

    The company I lease to has satellite tracking on all of their trucks (including mine). When I get within 2 hours of the legal limit, I get a warning message to start looking for a place to park. If I were to go over hours, I know for sure that I’d be getting a phone call from the company in the morning, at which time I’d better have a *really* good explanation, or be ready to take my place in the unemployment line.

    Australia has some interesting Hours of Service laws. There, not only drivers, but trucking companies, shippers, and consignees can all be held liable for HOS violations. I’d like to see our laws changed in a similar fashion — not just for HOS rules, but also things like overweight etc.