We love truckers, and it’s important for us to keep them safe. So, here’s something you need to know if you make your living on the road: DO NOT text and drive! Truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash or get into a near-wreck.

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that the risk of a crash due to cell-phone use affects truckers WAY more than regular drivers. For example, when dialing, the chance of an accident for a truck driver is 6 times more likely, versus 3 times more likely for a car driver. And if a trucker merely reaches for an electronic device, the crash risk is nearly 7 times higher than if they leave the phone alone. For car drivers, it’s 1.5 times higher.

Rich Hanowski is director of the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at the transportation institute. And he says as you know, if you’re engaged in a text message, it takes your eyes of the road in front of you. And in the study, they found that truckers take their eyes off the road for up to 5 seconds at a time when dealing with cell phones. 

Hanowski says that’s a tremendous amount of time to get into trouble. Look at it this way: If a trucker’s going 60 miles per hour, and takes his eyes off the road for even 5 seconds, that equates to traveling the length of a football field without looking at the roadway. 

So trucker friends – don’t text and drive!