Most of us are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, whether we are guilty of it ourselves or not. Taking our hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the task of driving for even a split second can lead to a tragic accident. But when commercial truck drivers allow themselves to be distracted behind the wheel, the effects can be even more devastating. To make matters worse, truck drivers are faced with more distractions than other drivers, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
Causes of Truck Driver Distraction
Driving is more than a means of transportation for a trucker—it is their job. As such, there are demands on a truck driver’s attention that other drivers don’t face. Completing a delivery on time, tracking driving hours, navigating unfamiliar roads, communicating with a supervisor, and staying in touch with family members are activities that often compete with the task of driving for a trucker. Some common causes of truck driver distraction include:
- Texting or talking on a cell phone
- Eating a meal or drinking a beverage
- Programming or following a navigation device
- Logging driving hours
- Arranging a delivery time or location
- Reading paperwork or emails related to a delivery
- Selecting or adjusting music, podcasts, or other entertainment
- Dealing with a pet in the truck cab
- Talking to a co-driver
Diverting one’s attention to any of these tasks for even a split second could mean the difference between the driver seeing traffic stopped in front of him and slamming into a traffic jam with catastrophic results.