Distracted truckers are a major problem in New Orleans. According to Distraction.gov, there are nearly 660,000 motorists using electronic devices and cellphones at any given moment while they are operating their vehicles across the United States. This includes commercial vehicle operators.
Commercial vehicle operators, such as truckers,have very demanding jobs that require them to spend long hours on the road at a time. Due to the monotony of their positions, they may become tired, bored and unable to stay focused for such long periods of time. As a result, they find ways to distract themselves while they perform their jobs so they can complete them. Motorists who share the road with commercial vehicle drivers should make themselves aware of the common sources of trucker distraction so they can avoid them.
Truckers are influenced by a variety of distractions
Truckers can distract themselves in a variety of ways while they are behind the wheel. Anything that causes them to remove their full focus off the road and their hands off the steering wheel is enough to put everyone at risk on the roads.
Texting and calling
Truck drivers spend a lot of time away from their family and friends. They use their cellphones and mobile devices to stay in touch with them. For example, a trucker who has not seen his wife in several days may feel inclined to text and call her while he is sitting in traffic. He is not looking at the road or at his surroundings while he dials her phone number and sends and reads her text messages. Instead, his focus is on his mobile device, making it easy for him miss the actions of other motorists that can affect his own.
Some drivers resort to placing their attention outside of the driving field, which ultimately results in them not seeing other motorists when they jump in front of them or cut them off. This can force them to overcompensate for their momentary lapse in attention and cause motor vehicle crashes.
Eating and sleeping
Many truckers must meet deadlines. They may speed, avoid taking breaks and pass up their rest stops so they can meet them. They engage in this type of behavior so they can keep their jobs; others do so to earn extra incentives from their employers. This increases the likelihood of them becoming fatigued and falling asleep at the wheel. They may also eat while they drive, which is dangerous because their hands are not on the steering wheel at all times. There is also the risk of them dropping something and trying to pick it up.
Distracted driving is something that all drivers are guilty of at times. When truckers do it, the risk of accidents, injury and death are often higher because of the sheer size and type of vehicles they operate. If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with the consequences of a distracted driving accident, you should speak with an attorney about your situation.