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Distracted Driver Accidents | August 23, 2019

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Truck Drivers Texting While Driving Caught on Tape

Kiernan Hopkins

George and Kathy Weed were killed one year ago when a truck driver who police say was texting while driving slammed his tractor-trailer into the back of the upstate New York couple’s car on a Pennsylvania highway.

“Dad was in his lane and coming to a stop ,” said their son, Brian Weed. “The truck just came up and hit him from behind and pushed him into another truck.”

“This utterly destroyed us,” said their daughter, Tricia Weed. “I mean, devastating beyond words.”

In another example, in Arizona, a truck driver has pleaded not guilty to murder charges after a police officer was killed when the driver crashed into police cars and emergency vehicles. The driver was allegedly looking at pictures on his phone at the time of the crash.

An investigation by ABC station WABC in New York City showed that the two crashes may not be isolated incidents. Cameras set up by WABC on major New York highways caught truck drivers dialing, texting and talking on their cell phones.

In one of the worst cases observed by WABC cameras, a truck driver carried on two conversations on two separate phones.

A truck driver stopped by police for talking on a cell phone in New York would receive a $150 fine and five points on a driver’s license. Accumulating 11 points over an 18-month period may result in a suspended license in New York, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

WABC investigative reporter Jim Hoffer asked National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Robert Sumwalt if the consequences for texting while driving are strict enough for truck drivers.

“Well, is it really changing behavior?” Sumwalt asked in response.

“From your video, that indicates a lot of people driving commercial vehicles that are still using personal electronic devices,” he said. “And that would indicate the enforcement side of it is not strong enough.”

According to the Department of Transportation, nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for using their cell phones last year, but only four of those were suspended and taken out of service, WABC reported.

Original News Source


  1. Donald Davis

    I agree whole heartedly that as commercial driver’s we have a greater responsibility to safety then anyone else on the road, we give our lives over to this job. I do however still have a family who I don’t get to see often and need that conection to help keep my head in the game. With today’s smart phone technology there is no reason for a driver to lose that conection, or to sacrifice safety. A blue tooth is just the first thing a driver neers to be safer on the road, my phone is mounted in a holder on. The dash and the only thing I need to do to activate it is touch the home button, then I whistle my unlock code into my head set, from there on a vary good voice comand system I can tell my phone who to call or activate talk to text, by voice comand I can edit and send after the phone reads my text back to me through the blue tooth. After the initial touch to the home botton I never have to even look at the phone again. I worked this system over at home till I had it perfected. Nothing on the road is as irritating or embarrassing to me as to be passed by another truck with the driver rolling at 70 mph with his foot up on the dashboard and a cell phone to his head. There is no excuse, and the severity of the punishment should be zero tolerance. I have dedicated my life and lost 2 families to truck driving. Get these idiots off the road. My handle is Thunder, and thats how I roll

  2. Donald Davis

    Life is compromise, safety is not! Fmcsa should immediately seaze shutdown and destroy anyone’s cdl who is so complacent to public safety at 80, 000 lbs of rolling death.

  3. Donald Davis

    There is a world of difference between the truck driver and the person driving a truck, there’s years between being old school and being old when you went to school. The first difference between a truck driver and a person driving a truck that you will notice is pride in the job and the lifestyle. Driveing schools have flooded our industry with peaple who never should have been driving a truck. I’ve seen grown men pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate in heavy traffic actually crying. After the 80’s everything changed, and not for the better. All of a sudden crashes skyrocketed and pea bottles littered America. And the truck driver fell from grace in the public eye. Thunder out 10 10 and on the side

  4. Rosendo Quezada

    I am a diesel mechanic and I have a CDL drivers license. I do a lot of driving at work, I have seen truck drivers and regular drivers doing everything but driving. Reading, texting, calling, you name it. The penalty needs to be steeper so people stop. When I drive a semi my employer calls me on my personal phone and expects me to answer, that is also a large problem.

  5. On the heels of my child’s accident I designed and am in the process of developing an app that will give parents the control over their child’s texting – this can end texting and driving. This app can also be used for Employers and employees (bus drivers, delivery drivers, semi drivers). I believe this will save many lives. Please go on my kickstarter page and read more. Please make a donation no matter how small. Thank you.

    Text Ya Later APP – Stops Texting and Driving

    APP gives PARENTS CONTROL over their Child’s texting while driving.

  6. Kitty

    I am totally against distracted driving and other bad driving habits. I have been around this stuff for a while now and I am even answering a prompt about it in English class. What is surprising is that my dad got into an accident while texting and driving, and even though he did survive, he still does it! I try to let him know but he just says, “It’s okay. I’m watching.” That is so wrong. Thankfully, he doesn’t drive a truck.

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