Distractions significantly increase a person’s risk of getting into a traffic accident. No one should be driving while distracted, but the truth is that many people do every day. Among these people are those who drive commercial vehicles, like buses and 18-wheelers.
Distractions take your attention away from the road. They make you less likely to be able to react quickly and prevent you from making simple changes in your driving that could keep you on the road or in your lane.
What kinds of distractions are there?
There are many kinds of distractions that could affect drivers. Some common distractions that affect drivers include:
- Talking on cellphones
- Using dispatching devices
- Using a GPS system
- Adjusting the radio
- Looking at billboards
- Looking at a nearby accident or emergency scene
As you can see, there are distractions that can affect you both inside and outside your vehicle. Anything that takes your mind off the road is a distraction that you should attempt to avoid.
What are some things you can do to avoid being distracted while driving?
A good starting point is to avoid allowing yourself to become distracted by outside objects, like interesting buildings, billboards, accidents or other things. Anything that takes your eyes off what’s ahead puts you at risk of being involved in a serious crash.
Another important thing to avoid is texting behind the wheel. If you feel the need to text someone, you should always pull over into a rest stop or to the side of the road. Text messaging increases your risk ending up in a safety-critical event by 23 times.
Even using a handheld phone behind the wheel is a hazard. Dialing your phone while driving increases your risk of a crash or near-collision by three times. If you must place a call, it’s important to use a voice command or to use a one-touch system, so you don’t have to focus on dialing numbers into a number pad.
Truck drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road. They drive large vehicles and could harm or kill others in an accident. If you are hit because a driver was not paying attention, it’s your right to seek out a solution. You can file a personal injury claim and ask for the at-fault driver, and potentially their employer, to compensate you for the driver’s inattention that resulted in your injuries.