A Message to Our Clients About COVID-19Read More »

Are Truck Drivers Prone to Distracted Driving?

Posted on: September 22, 2022

A leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving. Many of us believe an accident will not happen to us, or that we are too careful, but driving impacts everyone. Distracted driving should be taken seriously every time you are behind the wheel. If you work as a truck driver, the probability of a distracted driving accident is higher, and the consequences are deadlier. Learn more about why truck drivers are prone to distracted driving.

Distracted Truck Driving Explanation

Distracted driving is anything taking your eyes, hands, or attention away from driving your truck.

Some examples of distracted truck driving include the following:

  • Responding to text messages
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Looking at the GPS navigation system
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Fiddling with something in your truck, such as a radio

Doing any of these actions while driving puts the driver and the public in danger.

One helpful tip for truck drivers is that when communicating with driving associates via cell phone, driver managers should ask, “Are you talking on a hands-free device?” If you do not contact the driving associate and must leave a message, ask them to call you back only when they have reached a safe location, etc.

The Statistics Say Distracted Drivers are at Higher Risk

Distracted truck drivers are 72 percent more likely to be involved in a near collision accident than other drivers, according to data insights released in July 2022 by Omnitracs, a fleet management software solution company.

According to Omnitracs, the data analysis from its SmartDrive video‐based analytics platform among trucking fleets demonstrates that the most distracted drivers are not safe, commit more fundamental driving errors, and drive faster. An interesting analysis from the study shows that drivers distracted by mobile phones are three times more likely to drive ten-plus miles over the speed limit.

Other significant conclusions from the Omnitracs study include:

  • Truck drivers distracted by mobile phones are involved in collisions at a rate two times higher than other drivers.
  • Drivers identified as most distracted roll through stop signs and traffic lights at about three times higher than the least distracted drivers.
  • Drivers distracted heavily by mobile phones had to speed incidents of 10-plus miles per hour over the speed limit at a rate 3.2 times higher than the least distracted drivers.
  • Drivers who are distracted drift out of a lane at a rate 2.3 times higher than those identified as least distracted drivers.
  • Drivers identified as most distracted fail to wear a seatbelt at a rate more than three times higher than least distracted drivers.

Factors that Cause Truck Drivers to Become Distracted

Highways can be distracting environments, with many vehicles on the road, billboards, buildings, and animals sprinting across roadways. Many of these distractions divert the truck driver’s eyes from the road, which is dangerous at average highway speeds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking one’s eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling at an average highway speed of 55 miles per hour is equivalent to driving the length of a football field without looking.

Using a smartphone for phone calls or texting is risky because it can divert the forms of attention simultaneously:

  • Visual: Taking eyes off the road
  • Manual: Removing hands from the wheel
  • Cognitive: Your mind drifts to other things

Dispatching devices are a crucial part of a trucker’s job as they enable them to stay in touch with dispatchers who can help them navigate routes. However, using a dispatching device while driving can be dangerous. Many truckers feel obligated to respond to a message from dispatch quickly.

A New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyer at Ellis Law Advocate for Truck Drivers and Distracted Driving

If you are a truck driver who has been in an accident due to distracted driving, contact a New Jersey truck accident lawyer at Ellis Law. They know how to prove fault when it is your word against the other drivers. Call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online for a free consultation. From our office in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve Freehold, Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.