Common Truck Driver Distractions
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are becoming increasingly common as more and more big rigs are on the road. Because of the size of these trucks, accidents are typically more serious and the injuries they cause are more severe. Just as with other drivers, truckers are not immune to distracted driving. A study of distracted driving in the trucking industry found that in 2009, 71% of trucking accidents involved a distracted driver.1
Common Driving Distractions for Truckers
Exhaustion – Over the road truckers spend long days on the road and can become fatigued from the long hours sitting and driving. If the trucker is not well rested, fatigue can cause drivers to lose focus, swerve, or fail to notice their surroundings, all of which can result in accidents.
Cell Phone Use –Using a phone for any purpose while driving takes the driver’s mind and eyes off of the road, in addition to using at least one hand. Cell phone usage results in countless accidents each year. Commercial truck drivers are prohibited by law2 from texting while on the road and they may only use hands–free devices.
Outside Person, Object or Event – Often, the most distracting things occur outside of the cab of the truck. Even a quick glance at an object or event as you pass can cause drivers to stray out of their lane or miss a car stopping in front of them.
Reaching For or Using an Object – Drivers can become distracted by fumbling around or reaching for an object in the cab of the truck instead of paying attention to the road. Searching for objects takes the driver’s eyes off of the road and they may accidentally turn the wheel while reaching across the cab.
Eating or Drinking – Eating and drinking are a huge distractor. Holding and manipulating food takes hands away from the wheel. Eating while driving also requires the driver to look away from the road frequently. This combination results in a slower response time and an increased likelihood the driver will miss other vehicles slowing, stopping or changing lanes.
Daydreaming — Closely related to exhaustion, over the road truck drivers spend long periods of time behind the wheel. Zoning out and daydreaming can cause the driver to lose focus and can result in accidents.
Using a Map — Checking a map for directions is incredibly distracting as it takes the driver’s eyes off of the road for extended periods of times. This can be especially hazardous if the driver is in traffic or on the highway while attempting to navigate.
Smoking – Another common distraction is smoking. As with other distractions, smoking requires the driver to remove hands from the wheel and look elsewhere while lighting and ashing cigarettes. Finding and using the lighter or stray ash may also distract the driver.
Contact a Florida Truck Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
After a commercial truck accident, it is important that you contact an attorney who has the experience and the tools to fully investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine whether distracted driving on the part of the truck driver played a role in causing the crash and your injuries. Our Florida truck accident lawyers have helped many people recover full financial compensation for their losses from distracted drivers.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers at Dolman Law Group, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or use our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765