What Are the Most Common Truck Driver Distractions?
We all want to be as safe and secure as possible while driving.
23:44 06 December 2020
Vehicles are marvelous machines that have integrated into our societies and cultures because they allow us to accomplish so many superhuman things. As we learn more about the use of vehicles, particularly by those who spend a large quantity of time behind the wheel—like truck drivers—we can better understand how to keep everyone on the road as safe as possible.
One of the most important aspects of road safety is attention. Awareness of the road, other vehicles, and other objects can mean the difference between avoiding a collision and getting into one. This has never been a more significant issue, as in today’s digital world, there are endless things to distract a driver from giving the road their full, undivided attention.
The following will explore the most common distractions truck drivers face while working. Of course, these distractions are by no means limited to truck drivers. Everyone who gets behind the wheel for any reason should be aware of them.
Cellphones and Tech Devices
You knew this one was coming, right? Pocket-sized devices that connect us to our friends, family, colleagues, and world news have been proven to be intensely addictive. It turns out that the dopamine hit we get from checking our phones is hard to ignore, even when we know we should not. It’s no longer enough to tell people to put their phones away while driving—that’s not how addiction works. We need to develop long-term strategies for helping people cope with new technology designed to keep us using for as long as possible.
In the interim, there are apps designed to help drivers. They work by allowing people to mark themselves as driving on their phones. When they get calls or texts, their phone will send an automatic reply explaining that they’re driving and will look at the message when the vehicle is off, and it is safe to do so.
Being lost in thought isn’t what first comes to mind when most of us think of distracted driving, but it is just as dangerous as the more obvious examples. Anytime a driver fails to focus on the task at hand (driving) because they are mentally focused on something else, this counts as distracted driving. You will learn a more in-depth explanation of 'inattentional blindness' when you head to the Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A. site. People who have recently been through some form of turmoil like a divorce or tragedy in the family or those who have been driving for a long time are more likely to struggle with this type of distraction.
Reaching For Food, Drinks, Cigarettes, Devices, People, Or Other Objects
Whenever a driver takes their hands off the wheel to reach something nearby (or far away), this counts as distracted driving. Without hands on the wheel, you do not have enough time to react to sudden changes on the road because you first need to move your hands back to the wheel. Technological improvements are working on giving consumers as many hands-free devices as possible, but it is unlikely that all distractions will be removed even with these developments. You can’t voice operate eating a sandwich.
The above should give you an idea of the most common causes of distracted driving among truck drivers. Of course, there are countless distractions not mentioned in this article. If you suspect negligence behind the wheel, but your particular distraction wasn’t listed above, reach out to a legal professional for advice.