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Distracted trucking is caused by more than just texting

Many people tend to think of distracted truckers being distracted by phones and texting. While that is a major cause of trucker distractions, it isn't the only thing that can cause these drivers to become distracted. For people who are injured in an accident caused by a distracted trucker, finding the cause of the distraction can often play a part in the case.

The things that are going on around the truck could distract the driver from following safe driving practices. The trucker could be distracted by billboards, but these advertisements are only meant for passing glances. In fact, it is a good idea if drivers ignore the billboards all together.

Eating and drinking, even non-alcoholic beverages, could lead to distractions while you drive. One study found that eating and drinking while driving could be more dangerous than texting and driving. It is best for truckers to eat and drink while they are parked to avoid the dangers of doing this behind the wheel.

Communicating with dispatch and others using the CB radio can also be a distraction. In fact, drivers who use a dispatching device while they drive are nine times more likely to be involved in an event classified as safety-critical than drivers who aren't using this device.

Knowing the route they are following is important, but not so important that the driver should try to read directions or a paper map while driving. GPS is a good alternative, but the route information should be entered before the driver puts the truck in gear because fiddling with a GPS can be very dangerous.

Source: United States Department of Transportation: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "CMV Driving Tips - Driver Distraction," accessed Oct. 27, 2016

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