With the arrival of the holiday season comes the need for truck drivers in Tennessee to spend longer hours on the road than usual. In an effort to make their shipment quotas and deadlines, many large vehicle operators are using distractions to keep themselves awake when they are behind the wheel. Distracted driving is an easily correctable behavior, states American Trucking Associations. When truck drivers are distracted, their driving performance suffers and puts everyone in danger on the streets.
Common methods of distraction
Driving for long hours can be lonely for many big rig operators. Much of their time is spent on the roads and many of them are using it to contact their friends and family to help keep them from becoming bored and falling asleep. Using their cellphones to have conversations and exchange text messages are major sources of distractions. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “commercial vehicle operators are not allowed to text while they drive”. Those who are caught doing so are breaking the law and face legal action, fines and risk losing their jobs.
Many truck drivers have to travel in unfamiliar territories causing them to rely on maps and GPS devices to get to their destinations. Instead of pulling over to the side of the roads or checking for directions at rest stops, many big rig operators are using their maps and GPS devices to guide them while they are operating their vehicles. When they are checking for directions, they are no longer looking fully at the roads and the vehicles that are around them.
Truck drivers who are distracted from performing their jobs properly for even a few seconds are a danger to everyone. Big rig operators should remind themselves of the dangers that this behavior presents and take corrective actions to prevent it.