Most of the focus on America’s distracted driving problem is on cellphones. And phones are certainly a huge part of the issue. It’s probably no coincidence that distracted driving car accidents did not receive much attention until cellphones became widely available in the 1990s.
But negligent motorists have a lot of ways to distract themselves from the road. Commercial truck drivers, who might spend up to ten hours on the road without a break, are no exception. Even though truckers drive professionally, distractions reduce their ability to drive safely.
The things that caused distracted truck driving accidents
Cellphones may be the biggest source of distraction for truck drivers, but they are not the only things causing serious truck accidents in Vineland or across South Jersey. Research into crash data collected by the National Safety Council suggests several other activities or objects that frequently distract truckers and lead to accidents:
- Food and drink
- Personal hygiene and grooming (brushing teeth, combing hair, etc)
- Wearing earphones or headphones
- Reading or filling out paperwork
The connections between some of these activities and truck accidents are not as strong as others. For example, smoking truck drivers were only about 14.8 percent more likely to be involved in a wreck than drivers who did not crash. Meanwhile, drivers talking on a handheld phone were more than 90 percent more likely to crash than drivers who were not involved in an accident, according to researchers.
Still, any unnecessary activity that splits the driver’s focus from the road is unacceptable. No distraction is worth more than the lives and health of the other people on the highway. If you are ever injured in a collision with a distracted trucker, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver’s employer as well as the driver themselves.