Truck drivers already have incredibly difficult jobs. They’ll often try to push through fatigue to meet unreasonable deadlines. They have to deal with obstacles on the road, such as trying to navigate construction sites, severe weather, and other challenges. When they drive distracted, that just makes them even more of a hazard to everyone else on the road. Below you’ll learn about some of the distractions for truck drivers that can cause disastrous accidents.
Anyone who suffers a severe injury – or even worse, the tragic loss of a loved one – in a truck accident deserves full compensation if the truck driver was distracted. A truck accident attorney with Penn Kestner & McEwen will work aggressively in an effort to help deliver that compensation.
That’s exactly what we’ve done for several years, helping our clients win millions of dollars. We’ll do everything we can to make that happen for you as well. Schedule a free, no-obligation review of your case by contacting us online or giving us a call at (800) 732-3070.
This is culprit No. 1 when it comes to distractions for truck drivers. While checking a smartphone might seem harmless, when a truck driver engages in this dangerous behavior, they can cause a catastrophic accident. When the driver of a passenger car tries to text or talk when behind the wheel, that is obviously very risky. When someone driving an 80,000 behemoth does the same thing, the risks rise exponentially.
No conversation or text is important enough for a truck driver to lose their focus on the road. When this happens, for just a few seconds, that can make it almost impossible for them to be able to react fast enough should something on the road suddenly change. For example, a motorist may have to slam on their brakes, a pedestrian could unexpectedly try to cross the road, or something else could occur.
If a truck driver – or any driver, for that matter – simply has to check their phone, they should pull off of the road to a safe place. Then they can take that call, answer that text, or look at their email.
If you’re on the road long enough, your thoughts could drift. You might be thinking of an upcoming beach vacation, or just the next get-together with friends. When someone gets lost in thought, it doesn’t really matter that their hands are firmly on the wheel, and their eyes are looking at the road. When the mind isn’t in the present, that’s just as bad as falling asleep while their vehicle is in motion. Again, the risks are even more pronounced when this is happening to a truck driver.
Truck drivers need to be even more alert than motorists operating passenger cars. The reason is that more can go wrong in a truck than a car. For example, the cargo in the trailer could suddenly shift due to negligent loading, resulting in a potential loss of control. If the driver is daydreaming, that will make that loss of control almost a certainty.
Eating or Drinking
Distractions for truck drivers can include a variety of different activities, such as eating or drinking. Since truck drivers are under such tight deadlines, they will often do anything they can to save a little bit of time. This could mean grabbing lunch and taking it on the road. Not only is the very act of taking a bite of food dangerous, because it takes their eyes off of what’s in front of them, what if they spill something? What if they drop their cheeseburger, or the lid comes off of their soda and liquid goes everywhere?
It’s only human nature to react by trying to wipe as much of the food or liquid off. This, of course, takes their attention away from job one – to drive as safely as possible. Imagine if something like this happened while the truck was on a road that was slick due to ice, snow or rain. It’s not hard to picture the potential results.
Adjusting Devices inside the Truck
Just about everybody wants to listen to some great music or stimulating discussion while driving. But when they keep changing radio stations, or trying to find a different podcast, that’s going to take their attention from driving. It’s dangerous enough being around a truck to start with. When the driver is fiddling with their radio, their air conditioner, or any other controls, an accident can easily result.
It’s happened to the vast majority of us while driving – something fell on the floorboard and we couldn’t get to it. The feeling is not only frustrating, it’s maddening. Unfortunately, too many drivers – truckers and motorists included – will do whatever they can to reach that object, which has terrible consequences. If something is that annoying, drivers should just get to a safe spot where they can stop the car and put that item back where it goes.
Truckers will sometimes have other drivers with them to take over after a long shift if they’re on a particularly long haul and they can’t stop to sleep. This will obviously lead to conversations between the two. If the conversation happens to get heated, that could increase the chances of an accident even more.
When you think about distractions for truck drivers, you likely think about events that take place inside the vehicle. However, outside events can cause issues, too.
Billboards are an important form of advertising, but they can also be really distracting. Truck drivers see hundreds – or even thousands – of them during their trips. But if one is particularly interesting, they might stare at it too long. The same goes for anything else outside the window, such as a really great-looking car, and accident, or a crime scene.
Ironically, truck drivers and other motorists will often rubberneck at accidents and wind up causing one themselves.
Contact Penn Kestner & McEwen if You’ve Been Hit by a Distracted Truck Driver
Penn Kestner & McEwen attorneys have a long track record of helping our clients get all the money they deserve. If a distracted truck driver caused your accident, get in touch with us as soon as you can for a free consultation. Contact us online or call (800) 732-3070.