The stereotype for distracted driving tends to be someone texting or trying to put on makeup behind the wheel. Yet these behaviors are only two of many ways in which drivers succumb to distractions, and guilty parties are not just young, inexperienced drivers. People of all ages and backgrounds can become distracted while operating a motor vehicle.
This is true even for those with professional driving jobs, such as truckers. Although they go through training and must follow industry regulations, long hours on the road make distractions even likelier and more tempting.
Common distractions truckers face
Some sources of distractions are the same for all drivers, such as using a mobile device, whereas others are greater in the trucking business. One of the simplest yet most dangerous is paying attention to external sights, including billboards, buildings, pedestrians and natural scenery.
Although the law prohibits cellphone use while driving, truckers face another similar distraction: the dispatching device. It is necessary to the job, but truckers should follow the same rules for cellphones to avoid an accident. Additional sources of distractions for truckers are:
- Eating and drinking
- Driving with pets
- Adjusting settings
- Listening to music
- Looking at maps
Even daydreaming, an internal distraction, is dangerous to do behind the wheel.
Results of distracted driving
Just a few seconds of divided attention reduce the ability of drivers to prevent an accident. Truckers can miss hazards. Furthermore, semi trucks take longer than other vehicles to slow down, stop and turn, so a few seconds can make all the difference in driver reaction and vehicle response time.
When an accident ensues, it spells disaster for the passenger vehicles involved. Common injuries for victims of an accident with an 18-wheeler include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, organ damage and broken bones. Emotional side effects, such as PTSD and anxiety, are also likely. With so much at stake, truckers have the responsibility to keep their attention solely on driving.