MAINTAINING FOCUS: 3 MAJOR HIGHWAY DISTRACTIONS THE TRUCK DRIVERS MAY GET SWAYED BY
They say that prevention is better than cure. This is undoubtedly true, but it would also be correct to state that the prevention of accidents is a great challenge.
Nip It In The Bud
We hear about road accidents occurring on a daily basis. The only way to minimize them is for drivers and road users to exercise caution. Educating drivers on the common causes of road accidents makes it easier to properly handle this situation. This will hopefully deal with the issue before it becomes a problem on the road.
One major cause of road accidents is distracted driving. When a driver is distracted, his or her focus is removed from the road and directed elsewhere. Paying attention while driving is paramount in maintaining road safety.
Accidents involving trucks constitute a large percentage of road accident statistics. A study carried out in 2009 showed that seventy-one percent of these accidents were caused by distracted drivers. Let’s take a look at three major highway distractions that may cause a truck driver to lose focus while on the road.
Using Devices while Driving
Devices here refer to cellphones, dispatch devices, truck radios, and so on. Whether they are using a hands-free or a handheld cellular device, studies have shown that drivers having phone conversations while driving are less aware of what’s going on around them. This, in turn, means that they have a slower reaction time to the issues that may present themselves as they are driving.
Texting while driving presents a much higher risk. Cellphones also become distractions when being used to find directions while driving because the driver has to pay attention to the phone. Dispatching devices help drivers to keep in touch with their dispatchers and to navigate, but these can also serve as distractions.
Fiddling with the truck radio while trying to find the radio station of choice also draws the driver’s attention away from the road.
Handling Materials (food, maps) while Driving
Truck drivers are usually on the road for long hours since they mostly travel long distances. Many of them compromise on taking breaks because they want to arrive at their destinations much faster. This usually leads to them having their meals while driving. This is risky because it gets their eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel at different moments.
Research shows that eating and drinking while driving is actually riskier than using a cellphone while performing the same task. Consulting paper maps (or even digital ones) while driving increases the probability of having or causing a critical accident.
Billboards, people, buildings, natural scenery and the like can all call for a driver’s attention while on the road. Very many truck accidents have been caused by distractions that are not found inside the truck cabin.
If you are a truck driver and have been involved in an accident, you may not be very knowledgeable when it comes to insurance claims and how to ensure that you get what you deserve. Even if you have not been in an accident, it is always good to know the legal options for your semi truck accident.
Always remember that anything can happen in that brief moment that you take your attention off the road. Take every appropriate measure to avoid the above distractions while driving. Keep your cellphone far away from you – put it off or on airplane mode if you have to. Set your GPS device before you begin your journey. Create a listening playlist so that you will not be tempted to search for songs during your journey. Eat well before you start driving. If you have to examine a paper map, pull over to the side of the road to do so. Avoid lending your attention to unnecessary things along the road. Stay safe, stay alive and ensure the same for others.