Cell phones and different technology gadgets play a significant role in our daily lives. Almost all vital actions involve attention to a screen, and driving is no exception. According to a distracted driving survey, 88 percent of drivers are using their phones on the road. Along with high cell phone use, there are many other factors that are also distracting drivers from the road.
The issue of distracted drivers becomes worse every year, as there are several different types of distractions. A driver can be confused by both internal and external factors, and the distractions can be anything that involves taking eyes off the road or at least one hand off the wheel. Whether its holding food or beverages, billboards outside, smoking, using a cell phone or reaching out for an object, all of these things are considered a distraction. Other common causes of distraction while on the road is fatigue, daydreaming and other cognitive reasons. As truckers spend long hours on the road, they increase their chances of being more exhausted and prone to more distractions.
The National Highway Transportation Administration reports 28 percent of vehicular crashes involved distracted driving. The problem of distracted drivers is very prominent in today’s society, and should get more recognition to help reduce the risk of truck driver accidents due to distractions.
How to Reduce the Occurrence of Distracted Driving?
Institutions like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have already established penalties to bring attention to distracted driving in CMVs to resolve the problem. There is a $2,750 fine for drivers caught using cell phones and up to $11,000 for the fleet owners. Using hand-held devices and providing better resting conditions for drivers may improve the driving situation along with encouraging drivers not to use the phone while driving.
For fixing the problem, both drivers and carriers should make efforts to change the situation. Using a cell phone on the road increases the possibility of crash 20 times, and puts other people on the road in danger too. Supervision and hands-off devices for can help improve safe navigation, as well as consider reducing shifts for the truckers to avoid exhaustion. The new ELD mandate has made an effort to help truck drivers’ conditions by limiting the amount of hours a truck is allowed to drive, along with other regulations to help with driver safety.
There are many small things that drivers can do to become less distracted on the road. New technological advancements are constantly improving trucker technology, making it easier to use driver technology on the road without becoming too distracted. It will be interesting to see what new advancements are made in the comings years to continue to help improve trucker safety and prevent distracted driving.