The statistics regarding distracted driving in the nation are on the rise, but that doesn’t just apply to passenger vehicles. In fact, there have been significant increases in the number of distractions for truck drivers that use hands-free and hand-held devices while driving. According to recent statistics released by Lytx, Inc., mobile phones seem to be the biggest cause for distractions among truck drivers.
How the Study Worked
Lytx, Inc. used in-cab video and audio systems to monitor trucking fleets and help prevent collisions, reduce injuries, and provide better training to truck drivers. Using the “DriveCam Program” they were able to get a better idea of the distractions facing truckers.
The video captured activities inside and outside of the truck and were triggered by risky driving events – such as hard braking, sudden acceleration, excessive speeds, swerves, and other potentially unsafe actions. These were then uploaded wirelessly to the company’s server for analysis.
They compiled a list of the distractions that were found during these unsafe procedures and concluded that the biggest culprits included:
- Hands-free phone use
- Hand-held phone use
- Eating or drinking
- Being distracted by something outside of the truck
- Using a computer or adjusting a TV
- Speaking with a passenger
When truck drivers are chatting on the phone, they miss what is going on around them, including traffic lights, signals, and even pedestrians. Talking on the phone can reduce the amount of brain activity that is devoted to driving by as much as 37 percent.
Also, tablets and other electronic devices have become a much more integral component in trucker lifestyles – including keeping in touch with other fleet members, as well as the base.
Tips for Truckers to Stay Safe on the Roads
If you are driving a semi-truck, delivery truck, or even a commercial vehicle, there are things you can do to avoid becoming a dangerous statistic. This includes:
- Focus on the road ahead. That means keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road constantly – and not using hands-free devices.
- Put your devices in the glove box. It may be tempting, but whatever you do, do not drive with your devices. Instead, put them away for the trip. You can pull them out at your next stop. If you need to use a device to check-in, do so at your next stop or pull off to the side of the road.
- Plan your travels ahead. That means programming your navigation screen and any communication devices before you actually drive. That way you are not trying to adjust navigation while driving.
Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver?
Whether it was someone behind the wheel of a semi-truck or a driver in a passenger vehicle, distracted driving is negligent driving. Contact the attorneys at Horn Law today to discuss your accident case by calling 816-795-7500 or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.