Trucks are enormous vehicles that have an imposing presence on the road. Their main use is to deliver tons of goods across long distances for economical distribution. Truck drivers adhere to strict deadlines and work long hours. They need to be 100% at all times in order to do their job well. Any slight reduction in their ability to drive could be detrimental to the business. It could also be dangerous for anyone who happens to be on the road with them. Of particular concern is the combination of truck drivers and cell phones: a deadly combination that has already claimed countless lives.
Three Types of Distractions
Visual distraction happens when the driver takes his eyes off the road. He might take a moment to check on his passengers or look at the GPS system while the truck is moving. This might not be too bad if he only takes fleeting glances and returns back to his duties immediately. Manual distraction occurs if the driver actually takes one or both hands off the steering wheel. He might be getting something from the compartments, searching his bag, taking a bite, or reaching for a drink. Lastly, cognitive distraction involves the shifting of mental focus on another task or thought.
The Dangers of Texting
Some forms of distraction are worse than others. For example, the act of texting combines all three types in a single activity. It also tends to last for more than a few seconds. A lot of things can change in this amount of time. A speeding vehicle can appear on the road. A pedestrian may decide to cross the street. A traffic may turn from green to red. These are require immediate action but a driver who is distracted with a message on his phone may not be able to react in time to avert danger.
Several solutions have been proposed to minimize, if not eliminate, the use of cellphones while driving. One approach uses technology to limit the negative impacts of another technology. For example, phones may be controlled using voice and text messages could be read aloud so the driver doesn’t even have to look at the screen.
There are also apps that disable phone communication while the vehicle is moving. There is ongoing research on eyelid monitoring. This will enable cars to sense if the driver is looking at the road or not. There is also a device capable of scanning smartphones to look for signs of recent use. This could be useful in crash investigations.
Authorities have also been actively pursuing educational campaigns. They aim to show just how dangerous distracted driving can be, especially when using phones for calling or texting. They provide voluntary guidelines that can be used by drivers to protect themselves and their passengers.
Lawmakers have passed legislation to combat distracted driving. However, the enforcement of these laws has been tricky and compliance has been inconsistent. If you have been involved in a related incident, the call a Detroit truck accident attorney for legal assistance.