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Distracted driving makes truck accidents even more devastating

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | 18-Wheeler Accidents |

Truck drivers spend an inordinate amount of hours traveling Louisiana roads. Due to their tireless, hard work and so many hours without rest, it’s only natural for boredom to set in. Unfortunately, as a result, more drivers may easily become distracted, leading to more truck accidents.

What are the different types of distractions while driving?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving occurs when a driver turns their focus off the road and onto another object or activity. There are three different types of distracted driving, including:

  • Visual distractions: Visual distractions cause drivers to shift their eyes from the road onto something else.
  • Manual distractions: Manual distractions are things that cause drivers to move one or both of their hands from the steering wheel elsewhere.
  • Cognitive distractions: Cognitive distractions are those that are in a driver’s mind, causing their mental or conscious focus to drift.

According to research, around 80% of all vehicle accidents, including truck accidents, occur as a result of driver distraction. Even when a driver’s attention is off the road for a few seconds, it can lead to a crash and serious injuries or even death.

What can lead to truck drivers becoming distracted?

Many different situations can lead to truckers becoming distracted. Sadly, distraction greatly increases the risk of serious truck accidents. A truck driver can become distracted due to the following:

  • Using a phone: It’s against federal law for commercial truckers to use a handheld cell phone while driving. While it’s legal for them to use a hands-free phone, they cannot make calls if they must press multiple buttons. Texting is also prohibited by state and federal law. There are also laws against it through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Online use: Browsing the web on a device to check or compose email or social media, play games or watch videos is also illegal and can quickly lead to distracted driving and an accident.
  • Eating: Due to their long working hours, drivers frequently eat behind the wheel. While that’s reasonable, it can be dangerous when the driver has to remove a hand from the steering wheel to eat.
  • In-cab technology: Truckers have to communicate with their employers through in-cab technology. This can lead to distraction.
  • Navigation: It’s fair for truck drivers to use GPS systems to get to and from destinations. However, it can momentarily cause their attention to leave the road and increase the risk of truck accidents.