Semitrucks are very large and heavy. They must be handled properly so that everyone on the roads around them can remain safe. When you are on the road with these vehicles, you are essentially putting your trust in the men and women who are operating them.
There are many things that can lead to a semitruck crash. Two risks are distractions and fatigue. It is imperative that trucking companies have guidelines for their drivers that make it clear that they must avoid distractions and fatigue while behind the wheel. Here are some important points to know about these two causes of crashes:
Distractions come in many forms
There isn’t one single thing that will distract all truckers. There are almost countless distractions. A distraction is anything that takes the trucker’s mind, eyes or body off of the duty of driving. One of the most common distractions for drivers of all vehicles is the cellphone. Drivers shouldn’t talk, text or surf online while they are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Some of the other distractions that drivers face include eating or drinking, putting on makeup and communicating with other people who are in the vehicle or on a two-way communication radio. Even looking at billboards can be a distraction for truckers if they aren’t paying attention to the road.
Fatigued truckers are dangerous
The federal government has instituted laws for how many hours truckers are allowed to drive. These are set to help ensure that truckers aren’t driving while they are too tired; however, fatigue doesn’t come from only lack of sleep and rest.
It can also come from medical conditions like sleep apnea since these can impact a trucker’s quality of sleep. Truckers should undergo physicals to determine their fitness for driving. This gives them a chance to address any issues that could impact their ability to drive safely.
Other factors that can lead to fatigued trucking include driving on roads that are very familiar, driving in a cab that is stuffy or hot or having to drive when you would normally be asleep. Highway hypnosis is another problem that might lead to the trucker zoning out and not being able to focus on driving.
While there isn’t anything that others on the road can do to prevent these issues, finding out the root cause of them can be helpful if you are involved in an accident and opt to pursue compensation.