Distracted driving in a consumer motor vehicle represents dangers on the road. However, when it comes to commercial trucks operated by drivers who are not paying attention, collisions carry catastrophic consequences.
Stats tell a startling tale:
- Over three years of nationwide data collection by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed nearly 11,000 truck accidents also involved internal distractions in the truck’s cab
- A study in 2009 revealed that 71 percent of large-truck crashes resulted from distractions
- In 2006, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of driver distractions happen three seconds preceding the crash or near-crash
Even before the advent of cutting-edge technology in smartphones, tablets, and other devices, distractions still occurred. The seemingly harmless act of eating or changing to a different radio station takes your eyes off the road for a split second.
Texting while driving continues in spite of countless campaigns to end what can be long-term looking away. The problem goes beyond eyes not on the road but one hand on the wheel while thinking about, writing, and subsequently sending or responding to a message. While laws are in place, enforcement is challenging, particularly in a commercial truck.
In addition to distractions in the truck, certain sights outside the vehicle can lead to looking where you shouldn’t be looking. Billboards are constructed to get attention. Looking away is tempting, particularly during a non-eventful and lengthy drive. People as well can divert attention whether they are garishly dressed or a possibly familiar face.
Simply paying attention to the road ahead can prevent injuries and save lives, whether you are operating a standard motor vehicle or a large eighteen-wheeler.