A small mistake by a truck driver can put innocent people in the hospital. If the driver does not see that traffic has stopped in the road, for instance, that semitruck can plow through multiple vehicles before it stops. Distractions are dangerous for all drivers but especially for commercial drivers.
The most obvious example of a driver distraction is the cellphone. Truck drivers should never use their phones behind the wheel. They absolutely should not text or use social media.
However, other things outside of the truck are deliberately designed to be distracting -- such as billboards. These advertisements only work when they get people to look away from the road. Truck drivers need to learn to ignore them, even if they're bored after a long day of driving.
Furthermore, drivers need to make sure that they always stop to eat and drink. It may sound convenient to get a cup of coffee for the road or to eat a burger for dinner without stopping. It can help the driver cover more ground, but it's also a serious distraction.
Other distractions may include dialing numbers on a phone, using a GPS, using a paper map, trying to read instructions, searching for a new radio station or using a phone to stream music. All should be avoided.
It would be great if drivers would avoid these distractions every time they got on the road, but the reality is that many of them decide to risk it. If you suffer injuries in a crash caused by one of these commercial drivers, make sure you know what legal options you have.