For motorists like you, having to share the road with semi-trucks is an unfortunate but unavoidable reality. Just as you may find yourself taking your eyes off the road or your hands away from your vehicle’s controls to eat, answer the phone or what have you, today’s truck drivers face many of these same distractions.
Because of the size and weight of most semi-trucks, the results of accidents caused by distracted truck drivers are often devastating. So, what is it that is distracting today’s commercial truckers and endangering drivers like you and your friends and family members? The many distractions affecting today’s truckers include:
Eating and drinking at the wheel
Commercial truckers are often racing the clock, with many truck drivers trying to adhere to extremely tight schedules. To maximize time, truckers often eat and drink while at the vehicle’s controls, but doing so can have dangerous consequences. According to one study, eating while at the controls of the vehicle is even more distracting than talking on a cellphone while driving.
Objects and distractions outside the truck
Anything outside the vehicle that draws the attention of truck drivers is also a potentially dangerous distraction, whether it be an accident on the side of the road, a billboard, a pedestrian or anything else. Studies indicate that driver inattention is a leading factor in roadway accidents and that it plays a role in about 80 percent of them.
Many commercial truck drivers rely regularly on dispatching services to direct them where to go and help them navigate around traffic, among other uses. When truckers use them while the truck is in motion, however, this becomes highly dangerous, and it places you and all other motorists at risk. In fact, a truck driver’s use of a dispatching service while moving increases the risk of a safety-critical event nine times over.
While you can enhance your own safety around large trucks simply by increasing vigilance and avoiding them as much as you can, it is ultimately up to America’s truck drivers to do their own part to ensure public safety.