A study shows truck drivers use their cell phones to signal danger while driving

Talking on the phone while driving is strictly prohibited by law, including for truck drivers. This measure triples the risk of a fatal accident. However, a study published on Thursday by ASFA Autoroutes points to the dangerous behavior of some truck drivers.

The Association of French Motorway Companies (ASFA) published an alarming report on Thursday about the use of mobile phones by truck drivers while driving. This indicates an increase in the risk of inattention of drivers, accident factors.

According to this report, they use their phones an average of 10 times an hour while driving. “A habit that turns out to be built“, we can read in the document.

As for usage time, the report shows that a driver uses the phone for an average of 32 seconds. Seconds back and forth between the road and the screen, during which the car travels up to 175 meters at 90 km/h without looking at the driver’s trajectory.

Experts point out how much more drivers will not be able to keep their eyes on the road in these times: “The average duration of the phase without looking at the road is 2.4 seconds“.

Truck drivers spent 9% of their time on their phones.

The first stakeholders do not publicly confirm the results of this study, which was conducted by Jerema, a public institution under the control of the Ministry of Ecological Transition..

Jean-Yves Astier, regional president of the PACA National Road Transport Federation (FNTR), says to himself.I was very surprised” with this report. For him, the problem does not come from French truck drivers.

You see drivers texting on a laptop or watching a movie, but in road checks these are foreign vehicles, foreign trucks. “There are very few French people.” he says.

He follows: “We see this observation a lot in foreign trucks for translation, to take pictures, to warn that we will be late. French is planned in this language.

To carry out his research, Jerema installed cameras in the cabs of three heavy trucks. In order to analyze the movements of the drivers during a week, their gestures were checked.

Even if they volunteered, the three routers saw their habits quickly reappear. Their phone conversations were not taken into account in the study, as all participants used a “hands-free kit”.

A driver talking on the phone, driving a car and without paying attention, can hit 17-18 cars and completely cross the highway.

Jean-Yves Astier, regional president of FNTR PACA

Answering SMS, scrolling through social networks, talking on the phone while driving are all actions that take your eyes off the road. Even a brief moment of inattention increases the risk of a collision. Road Safety warns: texting increases the risk of being liable for an accident by 23.

According to the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture, 101 people have died on the department’s roads since the beginning of the year. Using the phone while driving caused 15 accidents resulting in 15 deaths and 18 injuries.

According to Jean-Yves Astier, if trucks are in the spotlight today, it’s because of the damage that can be caused by accidents involving heavy trucks.

A driver talking on the phone, driving a car and without paying attention, can hit 17-18 cars and completely cross the highway. Therefore, the sensitivity of the driver as a professional is more noticeable. We cannot excuse the driver sitting behind the wheel because he is a professional and he knows very well that he has no right.

Awareness campaigns were organized in response to this observation. They target all road users, not just truck drivers.

“We are doing a global campaign, Thierry Montchâtre, press secretary for Road Safety, explains. For trucks, we take them into account in our campaign on occupational road risk. Our charter of seven commitments is growing as more than 2,400 companies, including transport companies, sign it.“,

Targeted campaigns are being set up locally, but this is primarily a no-use-your-phone-while-driving ordinance.“, he specifies.

In addition to these global campaigns, “National campaigns through FNTR, TLF or OTRE carrier federations”, Complete Jean-Yves Astier.

“It is also available in educational centers [au moment du passage du permis poids-lourds], with renewal every 5 years. This is called addiction: phone while driving, alcohol, drugs, harassment if the driver.”

Although the interventions for the FNTR PACA president are effective, a new road safety campaign to remind the ban on the use of the phone should be noticed.

This should target all phone users, not just truck drivers. Because whether you’re driving a car or a truck, as long as you’re talking on the phone while driving, you’re no longer focused enough to drive safely.

Despite its widespread use and in all professional categories, using a phone while driving is still punishable by a fixed fine of 135 euros and the revocation of 3 driver’s licenses.

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