Bad weather and bad driving by motorists have caused many truck accidents. However, some truck drivers contribute to the problem by driving too fast or too long without adequate rest. Truck drivers also face an ever-increasing number of distractions that take their eyes off the road, their minds off their driving, and their hands off the wheel. Here are three of them:
Cell Phones, Both Hand-Held and Hands-Free
Hands-free cell phones are only marginally better than hand-held phones at preventing a truck accident. Hands-free at least allows the truck driver to use both hands on the steering wheel. However, both take the truck driver’s mind off his driving. This goes beyond merely directing his thoughts from the traffic situation. Cell phone use of any kind can also prevent the driver from seeing 50 percent of the road scene in front of his eyes. This is called inattention blindness, in which the brain is too busy processing the conversation, and doesn’t have enough capacity left over to process all the visual information coming from the eyes.
There are a plethora of immensely helpful apps that address almost all the trucker’s needs. There are apps that connect the trucker with shippers who need their services, apps that provide information about the amenities available at every exit, apps that tell truckers where to find rest areas, and apps that locate traffic congested areas.
The apps for truckers are endless in number and help them in every way except for one: keeping their eyes and attention on the road. App use is as bad as texting because it distracts the trucker’s mind from his driving, takes his eyes off the road, and occupies his hands with non driving tasks.
A device that gives the trucker verbal directions on where to go is far better than using a foldout map while driving. However, programming a GPS while driving is not. Programming should be done while the truck is safely parked. Programming a GPS is as bad or possibly worse than texting because of the previous reasons given for app use.
The fault for distracted driving doesn’t lie with gadgets and technology. It lies with the trucker’s choices when driving. Even without modern technology, there are plenty of other ways for the trucker to distract himself. If you were injured by a distracted truck driver, don’t hesitate to contact us at Hogan Injury.