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Truckers want you to help stop distracted driving

The drivers of big trucks need your help. These individuals, who are behind the wheel of their big, heavy vehicles for many hours every day, have seen virtually every kind of driving violation under the sun. They have also seen a lot of distracted driving incidents and they know what kind of havoc it can bring to other drivers (and themselves) on the roadway.

Most truck drivers can probably tell you stories about the times they saw drivers pass them who were texting on their cellphones, then, minutes later, they saw those vehicles get into serious accidents. Maybe those accidents were with the truck driver him- or herself.

For this reason, the American Trucking Association, has issued a list of potentially distracting behaviors that drivers should avoid. The list includes other measures that drivers should take to avoid being distracted. The first two things on this list involve the use of cellphones and smartphones. Smartphone use is to be avoided at all costs on the roadway.

In this regard, the ATA's first suggestion to drivers is to keep their cellphones hidden from view so that they cannot see them, but can still access them easily in case of an emergency. The principal of out of sight, out of mind, definitely applies to driving in the context of driving. The ATA's second suggestion is to never text and drive -- period. Texting and driving often involves drivers taking their eyes from the roadway for as long as five seconds at a time. Believe it or not, drivers traveling 60 mph have traveled as far as a football field in just five seconds. Not watching the road in front of you can lead to having less time to react to obstacles, and that can result in a fatal accident.

Distracted driving is illegal in Connecticut, and distracted drivers who injure others can be held criminally accountable for the violation. They can also be held financially accountable in civil court by the people they hurt, or by the family members of the individuals they kill.

Source: American Trucking Associations, "Professional Truck Drivers Need Your Help in Eliminating Distracted Driving," accessed April 22, 2016

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