Young & McCarthy LLP

How to reduce distracted driving among truck drivers

Commercial truck drivers are paid to pay attention to the road and operate their vehicles in a safe manner. However, just like non-professional drivers, truckers are prone to engage in distracted driving behaviors like texting and driving.

A recent AAA study found that distracted driving is now the biggest threat on U.S. roads. It also found that Americans are increasingly concerned about the problem. Specifically, it found that 88 percent of people surveyed thought that distracted driving was on the rise. In comparison, only 45 percent of survey participants were similarly concerned about drunk driving, only 33 percent were worried about drugged driving, and only 20 percent thought aggressive driving was a major problem.

Some trucking companies are taking measures to discourage distracted driving among its drivers. For example, some fleet managers require truckers to pull over before they use their cellphone or eat a meal. However, safety advocates say that eliminating distracted driving will require a change in workplace culture. American society currently pushes people to stay connected and be productive, which can lead to distractions and fatigue. Many drivers also mistakenly believe that distracted driving crashes won't happen to them. To combat this, companies need to teach drivers the behavioral science behind distracted driving and work to create a culture of safety among their workforce.

Truck accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities. People who are injured by a distracted truck driver may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover their losses. Likewise, families who lose a loved one in a truck crash might need to pursue a wrongful death claim in court. An attorney familiar with tractor-trailer wrecks may be able to help clients facing either circumstance.

Source: Fleet Owner, "Distracted driving: An overlooked safety threat," Larry Russell, Oct. 5, 2018

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