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Distracted truck drivers are out there on California roads

Think back a generation to the time when all truckers had for communication and companionship on the road were citizens band and AM radios.

Fast forward to present day, and truck drivers have access to all the gadgets other drivers have - plus a few more. They, of course, have smartphones and navigation devices. There are also tools to help them with fuel economy, fleet management and in-cab communication systems.

Yes, distracted truck drivers are a real thing on California roads. With the size of the truck and the weight of the load they are carrying, these can present a very real danger.

Distracted driving was associated with 3,450 deaths in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Hand-held cellphone use is illegal for interstate truck drivers, as is texting while driving. Still, the temptation is there.

Vehicle manufacturers are trying to lessen the distractions and keep more eyes on the road by putting many of the radio and phone controls on the steering wheel. Those tools reduce the risk of distracted driving but do not eliminate them.

Further, some newer trucks have screens and technology to provide entertainment or work-related information. With tablets becoming more common for sharing information, there is a lot for drivers to look at.

Fortunately, administrators of trucking fleets are instituting many safety strategies and mandates regarding usage of technology. However, crashes involving big rigs still happen, and distraction could be at the root. Truck accidents can lead to devastating impacts on other drivers or their passengers. If you've been involved in an accident with a truck, an attorney with experience in that area can discuss your options with you.

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