Truck Driver Distraction

Why Truck Driver Distraction is On the Rise

Throughout the country, communities of all sizes rely on safe and consistent deliveries from truck drivers. Trucking is a demanding and tiring job, and unfortunately, this leads to preventable accidents. Distracted driving is a significant issue across all demographics—and this includes those who drive for a living.Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, especially when a driver is operating a tractor-trailer that weighs dozens of times more than all of the vehicles around it. If you’ve been hit by a tractor-trailer and suffered injuries, let us help. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at 251-336-3411 to set up a time to talk to our Chatom truck accident lawyers.


There Are More Distractions Than Ever

One of the reasons that distracted truck drivers are such a prominent issue is the fact that there are far more distractions than there have ever been. Think about driving in the 90s—you had to make a concerted effort to distract yourself from the road. The best you could do was eat, drink, or have a conversation with someone in the vehicle.

Now, we still do all of those things. But we also have infotainment systems, phones that contain all of the entertainment we could ever want, and tablets that can stream videos and play games. We don’t have to try to distract ourselves; in fact, it takes more effort to avoid distractions. The longer you’re in the vehicle, the harder it is to avoid the draw of these distractions. It makes sense that a truck driver who’s behind the wheel for 11 hours per day would have a hard time staying away from distractions.


Pressure From Employers to Meet Impossible Deadlines

Truck drivers in the Chatom, AL area are under an enormous amount of pressure in their line of work. The amount of truck drivers has been increasing much more slowly than the demand for truck drivers, and retirement rates are making this problem worse each year.

Companies are working with a smaller fleet of drivers while taking on more business and more time-sensitive hauls. Rather than make their jobs more competitive to encourage people to join the industry, they tend to work their current drivers to the bone. That means near-impossible deadlines, often with a threat of job loss if those deadlines aren’t met.

It’s very difficult to work under this type of stress. It’s common to self-medicate with food, alcohol, and mindless entertainment. That can come in the form of TV shows, social media, and streaming content. A driver forced to work beyond their physical limits may self-soothe with their phone or food, both of which can make accidents much more likely.

There’s another way that workplace pressure can increase the odds of a distracted driving accident. Drivers who are fatigued and unable to stay awake may do whatever it takes to finish a drive, even if that means entertaining themselves with their phones just to stay awake.


The Mental Demands and Isolation of Truck Driving

Truck driving is a notoriously lonely and isolating job. There’s a strong sense of community at truck stops in and around Chatom. Here, drivers can talk about their days, joke about road conditions, and catch up on the latest news. But drivers don’t spend most of their time at truck stops.

They spend most of their time behind the wheel by themselves. This takes a huge mental and emotional toll, and it’s normal for long-haul truck drivers to feel an intense need for connection. This can ramp up the need to connect with people on social media or watch TV and movies to feel less alone.

This may be one of the most challenging issues to fix. You can’t change the inherently lonely nature of truck driving—but companies can do more to support drivers’ mental health and lessen their need to distract themselves.


Choose Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell for Your Chatom, AL Truck Accident Claim

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you could be entitled to substantial compensation. It’s time to find out more about your options and come up with a plan. Set up a consultation now by contacting us online, calling our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697, or calling our Chatom office at 251-336-3411.

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