Truck Driver Distractions Can Cause a Catastrophe
Driving while distracted is becoming more common. One recent study found that in the US approximately 60% of drivers use their phones at least once during the day. This is reckless. It not only endangers the lives of other road users, but also your own. Thousands of accidents caused by distracted drivers occur every year. Many of these involve truck drivers who were distracted while driving.
Common truck driver distractions
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 70% of accidents occur as a result of complex activities that are not related to driving. Distracted driving is at the top of the list, but there are many ways a truck driver might become distracted. Following are some of the most common causes for truck driver distraction:
- Exhaustion: Truck drivers spend hours on the road. They may do so in order to meet unrealistic schedules or personal financial goals. If a truck driver isn’t well rested, he is less likely to make good decisions or react in good time. A tired driver is far more likely to be distracted, which in turn increases the risk of a wreck.
- Use of mobile phones: This is a common distraction to truck drivers just as it is for all motor vehicle operators today. They may take their eyes off the road in order to dial a phone number or type out a text message. They may also require to use one hand to drive the truck because they are texting or using social media. The law prohibits commercial truck drivers from using mobile phones for texting or social media while on the road. Truck drivers are, however, permitted to use hands-free devices.
- Using or reaching for objects: Fumbling about or reaching for objects in the truck can be distracting for drivers. If they are trying to reach something in the passenger seat or behind them, they can only have one hand on the steering wheel and cannot possibly have their full attention to the road.
- Events, objects or people outside the truck: Drivers may be distracted by events that occur outside the truck. Because of the size and momentum of a large 18 wheeler, if the driver takes his attention off the road even for a split second, it can result in a catastrophic accident.
- Daydreaming: This is similar to fatigue and in many cases is caused by fatigue. Drivers may zone out and lose focus on the road and the other vehicles around them. Again, this can result in catastrophe.
- Drinking and eating: Drivers may be tempted to eat and drink while driving in order to save time. This can be distracting as they have to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road while they unwrap their food and eat.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer. Truck accident claims are extremely complex since they may involve both negligence and the state and federal regulatory requirements applicable to truckers. Your attorney will help you by investigating the circumstances of the accident and fighting for your rights against the large corporations and insurance companies that may be liable.