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Preventing Truck Accidents With Distraction-Free Driving

By: Anapol Weiss

Distracted driving is a nationwide epidemic that has been estimated to contribute to nine deaths and 1,153 injuries every day. It’s particularly important for truck drivers to avoid driving distracted, as their vehicles have the potential to cause exceptionally devastating crashes. A tractor trailer’s massive size, combined with its numerous blind spots and inability to stop quickly, make it a highly dangerous vehicle on the roadway.

Distracted driving is not just limited to cell phone use. In fact, distracted driving is categorized as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the task of driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This includes eating, using a GPS, reaching for a drink, and more.

There are three main types of distraction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): visual, which involves taking your eyes off the road; manual, or taking your hands off the wheel; and cognitive, which involves taking your mind off of driving. While any distraction can endanger drivers and everyone around them, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.

To help promote safety and prevent truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits texting by commercial vehicle drivers while operating their vehicles. Drivers who violate these rules face civil penalties and possible disqualification from operating commercial vehicles. Further, trucking companies are prohibited from requiring and/or allowing their drivers to use hand-held devices while driving.

Drivers and passengers in every vehicle have the responsibility of eliminating distractions. When they fail to do so, innocent lives are threatened. Be part of the solution by adopting a safe driving agreement in your household and/or workplace to commit to driving safely.