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What are common distractions for semi-truck drivers?

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2023 | Truck Accidents

Distraction is a serious safety risk on the road. Motorists who don’t pay attention to their surroundings can very easily cause crashes. Constant vigilance is crucial for road safety, especially when someone is in control of a dangerous and unwieldy vehicle.

Semi-trucks are substantially bigger and heavier than standard passenger vehicles. They take longer to stop and require more planning to successfully maneuver. Therefore, a distracted semi-truck driver is a particularly significant real safety hazard on the road. Not only are commercial drivers susceptible to the same distractions as everyone else, but they also have a few unique factors related to their work that may increase their risk of distracted driving.

Dispatching devices

The companies sending truck drivers out on the road and sometimes also the clients relying on them to make a delivery may need to get in touch with a commercial driver. There are dispatching devices in the cabs of semi-trucks that facilitate rapid communication and help drivers stay organized. Sadly, they are also a major source of distraction.

Mobile devices

Although the laws about texting while driving are state statutes, there is a federal law that applies to commercial drivers. Anyone in control of a commercial vehicle cannot manually use a mobile phone or other digital device while driving. Despite that clear rule, drivers often feel compelled to communicate with loved ones or use phones to keep themselves awake during a long and boring drive. Unfortunately, digital distraction could very easily lead to them causing a crash.

Eating and drinking

Commercial drivers often eat and drink while on the job. They need to keep their energy levels up and their blood sugar balanced. They may stop for a burger or a coffee and then enjoy it on the road. Eating or drinking distracts someone mentally and also forces them to take their hands off of the wheel. Especially if they spill something, they might swerve their vehicle or otherwise make a mistake because of their decision to eat and drink while driving.

Understanding when distraction may have been a contributing factor to a truck accident can potentially help injury victims more effectively respond to a recent wreck. With that said, it’s not always a contributing factor that’s easy to discern, so seeking informed legal guidance after a crash is generally a good idea.