When sharing the road with large commercial trucks, you hope that every driver is paying close attention to the road and other vehicles. Unfortunately, just the same as other motorists, truckers can and will become distracted every now and again. When this happens there is a greater chance of an accident.
Here are some of the most common types of truck driver distractions:
- Outside objects: It’s not always things inside the truck that act as a distraction. Instead, it can be outside objects, such as people on the road or billboards, that cause a trucker to take his or her attention away from the task at hand.
- Cellphone use: This is a big no-no among all motorists, including truck drivers. Any type of cellphone use, from texting to talking, can greatly increase the risk of an accident.
- Dispatching device: It’s nice to have instant communication with dispatchers, but using this device when driving can be just as dangerous as a cellphone. The use of a dispatching device can result in a person taking one’s hands off the wheel and/or eyes off the road.
- Reading paper maps: Even with advanced technology, there are still times when truckers rely on paper maps to get to where they’re going. Reading one of these while driving is every bit as risky as texting. If using a paper map is required, it’s best to stop the vehicle first.
- Eating and drinking: Truckers spend a lot of time on the road, as they need to reach their destination in a timely manner. This often results in eating and drinking while driving. This sounds simple enough, but it means that the trucker will have to take at least one hand off the wheel.
As the driver of a passenger vehicle, you should never lose sight of the fact that truck drivers often fall prey to distractions.
If you’re part of an accident with a distracted trucker, move to safety (if possible) and call 911. You want to receive immediate medical treatment, even if you’re unsure of if you have any injuries.
After you receive treatment, contact your insurance company, review the police report and learn more about your legal rights as the victim of a car-truck accident.