Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
Two Offices Serving
New York and New Jersey

When truckers are distracted

Nowadays, distracted driving gets considerable media attention. Much of this focuses on the dangers of using the phone and texting and driving behind the wheel. There are numerous other distractions that earn far less attention in the media, however, and they distract today’s commercial truckers as well as regular motorists.

All drivers may face additional dangers when truck drivers take their eyes or attention away from the road. Because of the sheer size and weight of their vehicles, truckers have a duty to avoid anything that could potentially distract them. As a matter of public safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has outlined what is diverting today’s commercial truckers’ attention.

Billboards, accidents and other outside-the-truck distractions

Studies indicate that driver inattention is a factor in almost 80 percent of crashes. Everything from road signs to architecture can cause truckers to take their eyes off the road. Truck drivers can increase the safety of other motorists by minimizing the amount of time they spend checking out potential distractions outside the truck.

Dispatching services

Truckers rely on dispatching services for a variety of purposes. But using them while the truck is in motion places everyone on the road in danger. Studies show that if truck drivers use a dispatching service while driving, their odds of a safety-critical event increase nine times over. Technological innovations and advances in dispatching may make using such services while operating a truck safer in time, but only if trucking companies invest in them.

Eating and drinking

Truckers often face tight deadlines, and it can be tempting to grab a bite and eat it while covering more miles. According to one study, however, eating or drinking while driving is even more dangerous than using a cellphone behind the wheel.

For the sake of all motorists, truckers should make efforts to avoid becoming distracted while on the job. Trucking companies too can help by properly training workers and otherwise doing their part to enhance safety on the road.

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