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Restrictions on Technology Use May Affect Both Trucks and Cars

The average semi-truck weighs about 18,000 pounds without a trailer, while an empty trailer adds about 10,000-15,000 additional pounds. If the semi is making a delivery, the vehicle most likely weighs upward of 60,000 pounds or more. December 11, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — Restrictions on Technology Use May Affect Both Trucks and Cars

Article provided by Bohrer Law Firm, LLC
Visit us at http://www.bohrerlaw.com

The average semi-truck weighs about 18,000 pounds without a trailer, while an empty trailer adds about 10,000-15,000 additional pounds. If the semi is making a delivery, the vehicle most likely weighs upward of 60,000 pounds or more.

On the other hand, the Toyota Camry, 2009’s best-selling passenger car, weighs in at about 3,300 pounds.

It is no surprise, then, that accidents involving large trucks and passenger cars are often devastating. For example, in 2007, large trucks accounted for 12 percent of all driving-related fatalities. Unquestionably, of all the vehicles traversing the nation’s roads, semi-trucks have the potential to cause more damage and more serious injuries in an accident.

Debate Over Electronics Usage in Trucks

At present, two major texting laws are making the rounds in Washington, D.C. Additionally, a growing number of state laws banning or restricting mobile devices have been passed. On top of all this, the president recently called for action on the matter. It seems that truckers will, along with the rest of us, soon fall under mobile-device restrictions and bans.

Most truckers utilize onboard computers while driving. These are used to find directions and stay in contact with other truckers. With mounted monitors, keyboards on the dash or in the lap, and the ability to send and receive e-mail or browse the Web, these computers are likely to be distracting. When it comes to banning technology, though, the trucking industry wants these computers labeled exempt.

Study Indicates Increased Crash Risk

Earlier this year, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied truckers who used onboard computers. The results showed that a trucker’s risk of crashing, nearly crashing or swerving outside the lane was 10 times greater if the trucker used a cab computer on the road.

Onboard computers do pose less of a threat than other mobile devices, which multiplied the risk of crashing by 23. Truckers cite the expectations of the trucking industry and their unwillingness to deviate from the tight schedules they must keep as reasons they should be allowed to use the computers.

Whatever the increased risk of crashing or the usefulness of onboard technology, however, an accident involving a semi-truck and a passenger car is an uneven match. Preventing such accidents is ultimately everyone’s goal.

Article provided by Bohrer Law Firm, LLC
Visit us at http://www.bohrerlaw.com


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