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Core group of truck drivers guilty of distracted driving

Incidents of distracted driving are increasing in Oklahoma and across the U.S. An analysis of driving data by Cambridge Mobile Telematics shows that American drivers engaged in distracted driving during 36 percent of trips in a tested six-month period. This represents a 5 percent increase over the same test period last year.

Studies also show that professional truck drivers are engaging in this behavior. However, an analysis conducted by SmartDrive Systems found that most acts of distracted driving are committed by around 25 percent of truck drivers. Furthermore, this group is more likely to engage in other hazardous driving behaviors. For example, distracted truck drivers are 87 percent more likely to exceed speed limits by 10 mph, 83 percent more likely to roll through stop signs and/or red lights and 36 percent more likely to crash their trucks. SmartDrive, which provides video technology and analysis for the trucking industry, came to its findings by analyzing data from over 180 million truck driving events between February 2016 and January 2017.

The company also found that truck drivers who were distracted by cellphones were more likely to have other driving issues than drivers who were distracted by other activities. For example, truck drivers with at least one crash on their driving record were 94 percent more likely to get preoccupied by talking on a cellphone and 85 percent more prone to texting or dialing distractions than drivers who had never been in a crash. Drivers distracted by cellphones were also more likely to speed and run stop lights.

Unfortunately, car accidents caused by truck drivers commonly cause catastrophic injuries. In order to recover medical expenses, a crash victim may want to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages. An attorney could help prepare the claim and negotiate a settlement.