January 12th, 2013

Truck Driving and Use of Computers in the Cab

In the last few years, trucking companies have installed computers in the cabs of large commercial trucks so that drivers can stay in contact with dispatchers. The small computer screen may be affixed next to a steering wheel while a keyboard sits in the driver’s lap. The goal is to save time. Truckers can have their pay docked when late making a delivery. So for many truck drivers, using the computer while driving is necessary, despite the fact that many truck companies have official policies prohibiting use of computers while the truck is in motion.

Whether an in-cab computer system, a cell phone or a GPS device, any gadget that takes a driver’s attention from the road can be dangerous, especially for truck drivers who drive 8 to 12 hours on the road, 5 to 7 days a week. In an industry where drivers suffer from exhaustion and boredom, using these kinds of gadgets can be especially risky.

A 2009 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research study which analyzed 100’s of hours of video footage of truck drivers operating trucks showed that truck drivers who used in-cab computers increased the chances of an accident or near accident by 10 times. This increased risk coupled with the fact that many truck drivers lose pay when making tardy deliveries highlights the dangerousness of trucking industry.

In any truck accident situation, investigating whether cell phone or computer use caused the accident will be important in establishing negligence. Read more about texting and truck driving.

Related Truck Accident Legal Articles:

Pennsylvania Truck Accident Lawyer

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