Common Distractions to Truck Drivers
The CDC estimates that almost ten people die in the United States daily in accidents that involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is when a driver is doing something that takes their concentration away from the main job of driving. This behavior is dangerous for any driver. However, it can be more dangerous for truck drivers. Trucks are bigger and heavier than standard passenger cars. A distracted trucker is a particularly significant safety hazard.
Truck drivers are susceptible to the same distractions as other drivers. But there are also a few unique factors related to being a truck driver that may increase the risk of truckers getting distracted behind the wheel. Below, we look at some of the common distractions to truck drivers.
- Cell Phones
There are federal laws that prohibit interstate truck drivers from using mobile phones. However, despite these rules, commercial motor vehicle drivers often feel the need to use their cell phones when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, using a phone can easily result in a trucker causing an accident. While any form of phone use is dangerous, it is especially dangerous to text while driving. Texting while driving involves a combination of all three types of distraction: visual, cognitive, and manual. When texting, you take your eyes off the road, meaning you are visually distracted. Second, texting while driving takes your mind off the main job of driving, meaning you are cognitively distracted. Lastly, texting while driving takes your hands off the steering wheel (manual distraction).
- Dispatching Devices
Dispatching devices allow truck drivers to communicate with their dispatchers. These devices help truckers to navigate and keep their logs. However, while dispatching devices are a crucial part of a trucker’s job, these devices can also be a major source of distraction. Constantly receiving alerts or messages on a dispatching device can take a truck driver’s focus from the road. Reading and responding to messages can also lead to distractions. Like a phone, a dispatching device can distract all three forms of attention at the same time.
- Eating and Drinking
Truckers need to keep their energy levels up. So, it is common to find truck drivers eating or drinking behind the wheel. Other reasons for truckers eating and drinking behind the wheel include time constraints, limited break time, job demands, and convenience. Eating or drinking behind the wheel can involve all forms of distractions. A trucker might take their eyes off the road to look at food. They may take their hands off the wheel to handle food. Also, eating or drinking requires some level of cognitive attention.
- Navigation Systems
Navigation systems are helpful to truck drivers. However, these systems can also be a distraction. Using a navigation system while driving can take a trucker’s mind off the main task of driving. It can take a truck driver’s eyes off the road.
Legal Help Is Available
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident because of a distracted truck driver, contact our skilled and dedicated London truck accident attorneys at Cessna & George Law Firm to learn about your legal rights.