Distractions are a major problem for many drivers, and truckers are no exception. They fall prey to many of the ordinary distractions regular drivers face — plus a few more.
What are some of the most common distractions commercial drivers encounter? They include:
- Using a phone while driving. Texting behind the wheel has been a problem ever since the technology was developed. Now that smartphones exist, cellphone use behind the wheel may be worse than ever. A driver who fires off a quick text increases their risk of being in an accident by 23 times the norm. Dialing a phone to make a call, instead, increases it by three times the norm.
- Eating or drinking while in motion. Would you believe that studies confirm that eating and drinking behind the wheel is actually more dangerous than talking on a phone? Even so, truckers still do it. They’re often on tight schedules, so they sometimes don’t see any alternative except to grab a sandwich and some coffee for the road.
- Talking to dispatchers. Truckers often communicate with their dispatchers but doing so while they’re in motion increases the chances they’ll make a mistake on the road by as much as nine times. It’s far safer if they wait until they stop moving to make those calls.
- Looking at environmental distractions. You can see all around you from the top of a truck cab — and that may not always be a good thing. Changing billboards and distractions involving other vehicles can cause a driver’s attention to wander.
It’s estimated that 80% of crashes involve some kind of inattentiveness on the part of a driver right before they wrecked. While you can do your part to stay focused and alert behind the wheel, there’s no telling about the guy in the vehicle next to you. If you’re injured in a truck accident with a distracted driver, find out more about your legal right to compensation.