THE DISTRACTIONS THAT TENNESSEE TRUCK DRIVERS FACE
In 2012, 107 trucks were involved in fatal accidents in Tennessee. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large trucks were at a greater risk of getting into multiple-vehicle fatal accidents than a single-vehicle fatal crash.
While there are many factors that can lead to an accident, distracted driving is among the most preventable. Many truckers engage in such behaviors behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Those distractions include the following:
- Cellphone use: Drivers may be talking, texting or even using a hands-free device, which takes their focus off the road.
- Eating: Because many truckers work long hours and are on deadline, they may opt to eat while driving, which takes their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.
- Using a navigation system: While it is necessary for a driver to know where he or she is going, using a navigation system while driving can be distracting.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits any commercial motor vehicle driver from texting while driving. In addition to simply sending messages, this rule applies to drivers who are e-mailing, surfing the Internet or simply pressing more than one button to complete a function on a phone.
Additionally, the FMSCA restricts truckers from holding a mobile device. Instead, they are asked to use a hands-free system that must be nearby. This intends to eliminate the risk of reaching for an object.
While these laws are a step in the right direction, they do not address the many other distractions that a trucker may engage in behind the wheel. In order to prevent an accident, commercial vehicle drivers should always ensure their focus is on the road.