Truck and Bus Driver Distraction- A Threat to Motorists Across Virginia and North Carolina

Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have recently completed a study that analyzes the, "risk of commercial truck and bus drivers' activities or actions that distract their attention away from the driving task."  VTTI's Center for Truck and Bus Safety used over 13,000 commercial motor vehicles to analyze driver behavior before a safety-critical event.  The study was released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Their findings, though not a surprise to drivers in Virginia or North Carolina, show just how dangerous texting and driving and cell phone use and driving can be.  As large truck accident attorneys we have seen too many drivers injured when a trucker makes a poor decision.  The weight and force behind this type of accident can make it more injurious and deadly than an average car to car traffic accident.  

Below you will find some of the highlights of the study.  Click on any of the underlined links to learn more about that particular subject as it relates to the dangers of truck and bus driver distraction.

  • Data Set- Data was collected over one year and includes 1,085 crashes, 8,375 near crashes, 30,661 crash relevant conflicts and 211,711 baselines. Data was collected using the onboard safety monitoring system, DriveCam.
  • All Cell Phone Use- Drivers who were using their cell phone in any manner (i.e. dialing, texting or reaching for the phone) were 1.14 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event.
  • Specific Cell Phone Use- Dialing a cell phone while driving increases a drivers risk of an accident or incident by 3.51 times. Reaching for a headset, earpiece or cell phone increases the risk by at least 3.38 times.
  • Texting and Driving- The most dangerous distracted driving behavior was found to be texting, e-mailing or accessing the internet The odds ratio for this behavior increased by 163.6 times.
  • Effective Deterrents- While state cell phone law did not impact drivers likelihood of using their cell phone fleet policy did. A drivers chances of using a cell phone while driving were 17 percent less likely when a fleet cell phone policy was in place. Many have advocated legislation to address the problem of cell phone use among truck and bus drivers.


There is no doubt that cell phone use while driving is dangerous to both the driver and those he shares the road with.  The staff and attorneys at Tavss Fletcher hope that this study, and others like it, help inform the decisions of drivers, fleet owners and the legislature. 


If you have been involved in an accident with a semi or tractor trailer  you know all too well that the results are often serious and life-threatening.  For aggressive, experienced help after your accident with a truck please contact your Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer at Tavss Fletcher for your free consultation.