Distracted driving is such a significant problem that many experts go so far as to call it an epidemic. Take a look around during your daily commute—it’s nearly impossible to go through an entire drive without seeing someone texting or otherwise using their phone when they should be focusing on the road.
While no one should be distracted while driving, it’s even more dangerous for truck drivers to do this. Losing sight of the road for even a few seconds puts them at risk of causing severe or fatal accidents.
Learn more about this alarming trend among truck drivers. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, let’s figure out your next steps. Call Bailey, Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 to schedule a consultation now.
Common Distractions for Truck Drivers
One sizable piece of research on this topic comes from Omnitracs. They tracked the number of distractions impacting commercial drivers, including:
- Using a hands-free mobile device to talk
- Holding a mobile phone
- Drinking and eating
- Using headphones
- Engaging in grooming or personal hygiene tasks
- Texting or dialing a phone
- Talking on a mobile phone while holding it
- Doing paperwork
You’ll notice that many of these behaviors focus on cell phones. This is such a prominent issue that the research is divided into mobile and non-mobile distractions.
These distractions are also divided into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off of the road, preventing them from seeing obstacles. Manual obstacles require a driver to take one or both hands off of the wheel, limiting their ability to react quickly to an obstacle. Cognitive distractions are intellectually engaging and keep a driver from keeping their concentration on their driving.
Poor Outcomes Linked to Distracted Driving
Across the board, poor outcomes are linked to distracted driving. Part of this research focuses on how much more frequently collision drivers (those who were involved in crashes during the study) engaged in certain distracting behaviors compared to non-collision drivers. Talking on the phone was the most common behavior among collision drivers, followed by texting or dialing a phone, grooming, and using another mobile device.
Many different poor outcomes were more common among distracted drivers. Near-miss incidents were far more common amongst distracted drivers, especially those who were using a mobile device at the time.
Distracted drivers were also noted to drive at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit at a rate 2.4 times higher than non-distracted drivers. Distracted drivers were considerably more likely to execute a rolling stop at an intersection or completely blow through a stop sign or traffic light than drivers who were not distracted.
The behaviors exhibited by distracted drivers show that they are a risk both to themselves and to others. Distracted drivers in the study exhibited poor lane control, drifting out of their lane 2.3 times more than non-distracted drivers. This jumps to 3.7 times more when you only consider mobile-distracted drivers. Additionally, distracted drivers were much more likely to drive without a seatbelt at any speed.
What This Means for You
Distracted driving is an issue that is likely to affect you in one way or another. You cannot control what other people do, but you can ensure that you are focused while driving. You can also keep an eye out for signs of distracted driving and avoid driving too close to unsafe drivers.
Trucks that are drifting in and out of their own lane, speeding far above the speed limit, failing to come to a complete stop at intersections, or otherwise engaging in risky behavior may be under the control of distracted drivers. Leave as much space as possible so you can respond quickly to any unexpected driving behaviors.
Choose Bailey, Javins & Carter for Your Accident Claim
If a truck accident has turned your life upside down, you aren’t alone. The team at Bailey, Javins & Carter is here to support you through this challenging time. Let’s schedule a consultation and figure out what your next move is. Call us at 800-497-0234 or reach out online to set up a time to talk to our Charleston truck accident lawyers.