Truck drivers must maintain their professional status through a specialized drivers license, ongoing training and thousands of safe hours on the road. Even with all that in place, however, various activities tempt them while they are behind the wheel. From making phone calls to eating snacks, any activity that pulls a driver’s focus from their surroundings can end up being a deadly distraction.
Whether they are staving off boredom or simply attempting to be productive behind the wheel, truck drivers often find themselves multitasking while navigating traffic. Unfortunately, without absolute control, these enormous vehicles can devastate smaller cars and trucks on the road. From crowded city streets to fast-moving highways, 18-wheelers, construction vehicles and commercial trucks represent the largest vehicles and the biggest hazards on the road.
What distractions are common?
Whether they are multitasking, communicating with loved ones at home or attempting to reduce boredom from the monotonous miles on the road, truckers often seek distractions to shorten the trip. This can mean numerous types of activities, including:
- Phone calls
- Checking email
- Eating or drinking
- Manipulating an audio system
- Manipulating a navigation system
- Using the dispatch device
- Updating a logbook
Due to their height on the road, their surroundings often distract truck drivers from safety signals and traffic patterns. This can be a construction project, traffic accident, billboards, electronic advertising and pedestrian traffic.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to climb behind the wheel in no condition to safely navigate traffic. Whether they are fatigued, chemically impaired or under the influence of strong medication, truck drivers must ensure they remain safely in control of their vehicle at all times.
Motor vehicle collisions involving 18-wheelers often result in devastating property damage and catastrophic injuries. Truck drivers must avoid distractions to minimize their opportunities to cause a collision.