The trucking industry remains a key element to keep the modern world moving. Unfortunately, that means an increased likelihood of an accident happening.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 107,000 injury crashes with a truck happened in 2020. While many factors play into that, the job inherently has hidden dangers that deter from safe driving.
1. Spending too much time on the road
Truck drivers face tight schedules and unexpected events. Although laws require drivers to take mandatory breaks, that does not always happen. Driving while fatigued has a great impact on a person. Along with impaired vision, coordination and ability to react, it makes it easier to not complete regular safety tasks, such as checking a blind spot. Additionally, excessive fatigue may lead to falling asleep at the wheel.
2. Getting distracted
Like any person operating a vehicle, truck drivers have no immunity against distractions. Long days or nights on the road make it even easier to take one’s eyes off the road to change a radio station, grab a sandwich or quickly glance at a cell phone. The added stress of making it to the final destination on time may also create mental distractions.
3. Lingering undiagnosed health problems
Spending all day sitting creates health issues that often go undiagnosed. Life on the road also makes it more difficult to eat healthy and exercise, which eventually leads to heart problems and diabetes. Since constantly traveling makes getting a regular checkup more complex, some truck drivers may ignore symptoms that seem like fatigue.
No matter how safely a person drives, accidents happen. Knowing what the operators of big trucks face may help people stay more focused.