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Why are truckers more tempted by driving distractions?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

Even though they are professional drivers with additional training and experience, this added time behind the wheel can ultimately prove to be a negative. Truck drivers log significant hours behind the wheel and hundreds of thousands of miles on the job. During all this, they often look for ways to stay energized while on the road.

Unfortunately, any activity, even one that is undertaken in the spirit of productivity, can pull attention from the safe operation of a motor vehicle. There are certain activities that are common to drivers of both large trucks and passenger vehicles, including:

  • Texting
  • Phone conversations
  • Checking email
  • Eating and drinking
  • Personal grooming
  • Manipulating an audio system

Drivers of large trucks, commercial vehicles, delivery vans and 18-wheelers might face additional distractions, including:

  • Use of a dispatch device: While driving, truckers might be tempted to use various dispatching devices. These portable data terminals can help drivers communicate with their dispatchers, can assist in log maintenance and help navigation. It is not uncommon for drivers to receive a message or update from dispatch and start a conversation while driving. This is a serious distraction that can have devastating consequences.
  • Manipulating navigation systems: Whether the portable data terminal, a standalone GPS or a phone’s menu, truck drivers often look for a new route, shorter distance or directions around an unfamiliar city. Unfortunately, these actions can remove the eyes from the road and the mental focus from the safe operation of the 18-wheeler.

By virtue of their size and speed, collisions caused by large trucks can have deadly consequences. Distracted truck drivers can drift into oncoming lanes, fail to recognize stopped traffic, or miss warning signals at intersections or lane merges. Since they spend so much time behind the wheel, truck drivers are often more susceptible to distracting activities.