In Massachusetts and throughout the United States, trucks are a constant on the road. Their size and the speeds they travel can be intimidating before considering the potential danger of a truck driver whose mind is not entirely focused on safety. There are many factors that can negatively impact trucking safety. For truckers, having safety in mind before they get behind the wheel can avoid crashes.
Trucker distraction goes beyond cellphone use and much of it is due to their belief that they can simultaneously navigate driving and other tasks. Thinking in advance can avoid the inherent risks truckers face. Any act that requires a driver to remove his or her eyes from the road is dangerous. Some are a required part of driving such as turning on the windshield wipers. These do not divert the driver’s attention in a serious way. Others like dialing a cellphone or texting require concentration. Drivers are advised to consider the distance they travel when looking away from the road to complete various tasks and do them beforehand.
Mathematically, a driver whose vehicle is moving at 67-mph will travel the entire distance of a football field in three seconds. Placing this in the context of the time it takes to dial a cellphone illustrates how hazardous it is behind the wheel. It is not just cellphones that are distracting. Other vehicles, ongoing construction, billboards and multiple aspects that are simply part of driving should be considered. This cannot be controlled. Preparation involves that which can be controlled such as preprogramming the GPS, eating before hitting the road and having a hands-free device.
Truck companies have safety rules in place mandating that drivers avoid distraction with penalties for violating them. Still, truckers may violate basic safety practices with behaviors that are distracting. If truck accidents happen, those who were injured or lost a loved one should think about the myriad potential consequences in a physical, personal and financial way. Legal advice might be helpful to determine how to move forward and if a lawsuit is needed to recover compensation.