Technology has made traveling easier but made drivers more prone to distraction.
Truck drivers always need to be aware of the road. They must have the room to stop, the space to maneuver around obstructions, and the reflexes to handle their rig in inclement weather.
Being aware of common distractions and the ways to avoid them will make you a better driver and a greater asset to your company.
What Are the Dangers of Distracted Truck Driving?
Commercial vehicles are the largest on the road. Due to the size of their rigs, truck drivers need nearly 600 feet to come to a stop. They can cause more damage in accidents, as well as more serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Collisions can total smaller vehicles and cause pileups if the rig had enough force built up. If a distracted truck driver needs to suddenly veer, the truck can cause damage to multiple cars across lanes.
Collisions can total smaller vehicles and cause pileups if the rig had enough force built up. If a distracted truck driver needs to suddenly veer, the truck can cause damage to multiple cars across lanes.
What Are Common Distractions?
Truck drivers work long hours. When fatigue sets in, it’s easy for the mind to wander. Tired drivers can fall asleep behind the wheel, causing accidents.
Cellphones allow you to maintain connections to friends and family when you’re on the road. Your GPS can shave hours off your driving.
However, checking text messages or altering your GPS will take your eyes off the road for several seconds. This may not seem like much, but at 55 mph, you can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to select a new song on your playlist. Other activities, like eating, smoking, having conversations, or filling out paperwork can also be distracting.
How Is Distracted Truck Driving Prevented?
Truck drivers can only be on the road for 11 hours a day and must take 34 consecutive hours off after working a 70-hour workweek. These regulations keep drivers from exhaustion.
The best way to deal with cellphones is to remove the temptation to check on them. Turn the phone off and keep it out of reach—either in your sleeper or glove compartment. You can have a snack, smoke, and check your messages when you’re at a rest stop.
Wait until your shift is over to update your log. If you’re still using paper documents, make sure they’re secure and out of reach. Papers flying around your cab with the windows open are an easily avoided distraction.
While all drivers refer to a GPS while traveling, you may need to input a new destination. If that happens, park your rig away from traffic to make the changes. It may take a few extra minutes, but it’s safer for you and the other drivers on the road.
As driving has changed, so has the way we train our truckers. Our students are taught avoid distractions, making the road a safer place for everyone. For more information on our accredited CDL truck driver program, reach out to us at (330) 239-2229.
- OH Reg. #2057
- ODPS License #1439-2369