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Long shifts lead to commercial drivers doing dangerous things
Almost everything that you buy at local retail shops comes off of the back of commercial vehicles. Truckers help keep the economy running by offering over-land transportation for everything from unprocessed milk to new vehicles fresh from the manufacturer.
The demands of the American economy never stop, which means that there is a lot of pressure on transportation professionals. They often work long shifts when compared with employees in other professions. The demands of their jobs mean that they may go several days away from home at a time depending on who employs them and what kind of route they drive.
All of the demands associated with commercial transportation at work may make these professional drivers more susceptible to dangerous driving distractions. What distractions are common issues for those who drive all day?
Eating and drinking are dangerous driving habits
Approximately 56% of drivers admit that they eat while driving occasionally, and a shocking 7% of drivers eat at the wheel every day. Older drivers are more likely to eat at the wheel, with 13% of Baby Boomers admitting that they eat or drink while driving every day.
Although a lot of people eat while driving, it is a known safety risk. It makes someone take their hands off the wheel and creates the risk that they will have a startle reaction if they spill something. While a trucker may just need a snack to keep their blood sugar stable and their body fueled for the job, there is risk every time they eat while driving.
Isolation can lead to digital distraction
There is a federal no text rule that applies even in states where the law does not forbid phone use at the wheel. The sad truth is that many commercial drivers will feel compelled to break that rule because of how long they go without seeing their loved ones. Whether they want to stave off fatigue or touch base with their children, they may dial the phone or respond to a text message when they have control over a commercial truck.
Distraction is dangerous for any driver, but especially for those in control of large, difficult-to-control commercial vehicles. Understanding risk factors that increase the chances of a motor vehicle collision can help drivers minimize risk and make better decisions on the road.