Are Truckers Just as Distracted as Regular Motorists?

Distracted drivers are a common sight in Providence County and, to be honest, there are a lot of sources of distraction out there. Sometimes people stop looking at the road and pay attention to something else, putting themselves and others around them at risk. However, it is not only passenger vehicle drivers that are tempted to take their attention off of the road around them.

Truckers and distraction

Just recently, a truck accident occurred down in Maryland that sent a woman over a bridge into the water below. According to the Baltimore Sun, the trucker was handed several traffic citations after he told law enforcement that he had been distracted by something in the side mirror on his side of the cab. While the woman avoided serious injuries, she is dealing with emotional and mental trauma. It was determined that the trucker was speeding and not paying attention to the road.

When truckers allow themselves to be distracted, they have the potential to kill others or severely injure them. In another recent accident, a couple was killed when a truck driver in Texas veered over the center line, hitting their motorcycle head-on, according to the Daily Camera. The trucker admitted reaching down to get a candy bar, thereby taking his attention off of the task at hand.

Study shows room for improvement

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration points out that there is still much that can be done to lessen the amount of distractions that exists for truck drivers. The study used two other reports and analyzed the data from them to look at the seriousness of driver distractions for commercial vehicle drivers.

After examining the data, the FMCSA came up with recommendations upon finding that many drivers did engage in behavior that was distracting and potentially dangerous to others. Among the recommendations was that fleet managers should put together policies that are designed to educate truckers on the risks of distractions. The use of dispatching devices should be prohibited while the commercial truck is turned on or moving. Texting and driving was also deemed to be dangerous for truckers while on the road.

Eliminating the distractions

While commercial truckers that travel over state lines are no longer allowed to text or use hand-held phones, there are other dangerous behaviors that these drivers should try to avoid such as:

•Reading or looking at maps.

•Smoking

•Eating

•Drinking

•Fixating on objects inside or outside the cab such as buildings, signs and other cars.

•Reaching for things inside the cab.

Truck accidents can be especially traumatic for its victims, leaving them with physical disabilities, emotional scars and thousands of dollars in medical care and damage to their vehicle. If you are the victim of a negligent trucker, you should discuss your rights with a qualified attorney.