Truck drivers must complete numerous training courses and additional hours of supervised practice before attaining their professional status. As professional drivers, society holds them to a higher standard of care, attention and ability. Unfortunately, these drivers spend hundreds of hours on the road during one long-distance trip. Boredom, hunger and the desire to pass the time often overwhelm a trucker.
With every new electronic device and entertainment gadget, truckers face growing temptation to pull their focus from the road. Whether they are long-haul drivers transporting a load from state to state or are in a commercial delivery truck spending hours navigating busy city streets, truckers must avoid distractions and take steps to ensure the safety of other drivers. In fact, a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) study once reported that 71% of large-truck collisions could be traced to a driving distraction.
Why is this crucial?
Due to the size and speed of these large trucks, even a seemingly minor collision with a smaller passenger vehicle can result in devastating property damage and catastrophic injuries. It is not uncommon for the smaller vehicle to be demolished under the huge tires of an 18-wheeler.
Distractions such as personal grooming, eating or participating in a texting conversation can pull the trucker’s eyes from the road, hands from the steering wheel and focus from traffic patterns. This loss of attention can lead to a truck drifting into oncoming lanes, driving through an intersection or failing to recognize stopped traffic.
More means more
The unfortunate reality is that truckers spend more time on the road, so they face a greater risk of involvement in a traffic collision. As professional long-distance drivers, truckers can often log more than 100,000 miles a year. With this much time spent on the road, it is not uncommon for drivers to multitask or simply pass the time while attempting to stave off boredom. Unfortunately, these activities often represent driving distractions which can be deadly to the other drivers around them.