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Truck drivers in Massachusetts are as liable as anyone else to become distracted behind the wheel. It’s not just food or the climate controls that can lead to distraction but also relatively new technologies like smartphones and infotainment systems.

Distracted driving and fatal crashes

The Travelers 2018 Risk Index report found that 23% of U.S. drivers use personal technology while on the road. This is in spite of the fact that eight in 10 respondents admitted to the riskiness of distracted driving. This results in more distracted driving crashes, many of which are fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked 3,450 vehicle-related fatalities, or 9.2% of all such fatalities, in 2016 to distracted driving.

How truck companies can improve safety

Trucking companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees and the people who share the road. First off, employers should raise awareness of distracted driving and try to instill safer habits in the truckers, such as obeying speed limits and maintaining a good following distance.

Beyond having an official policy and training program, companies could set up monthly safety meetings. During such meetings, employers could ask truckers to relate any unusual encounters with distracted drivers so that everyone understands what dangers they realistically face on the road.

You may want to consult an attorney

Unfortunately, many truck collisions continue to arise because of distracted, drowsy and alcohol- or drug-impaired truckers. If you suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, you’re likely wondering if you have grounds for a claim against the trucking company. A lawyer may tell you more clearly what your options are. If you hire a lawyer, he or she may gather evidence against the defendant with the help of crash investigators and other third parties.