The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has commissioned two studies on commercial truck driver safety in 2012. The studies will look at some long-standing safety issues, with a focus on growing problems like distracted driving.
One study will focus on loading dock wait times and their effect on driver fatigue. The other will examine possible links between driving behavior and how drivers are compensated. Whether such compensation is by load number or mileage numbers is believed to affect driver performance.
How automobiles behave around trucks is also a safety issue. Distracted driving is increasingly a problem for all drivers, and can compound the problem for truck drivers. Commercial truck drivers can be distracted at certain times, but the distractions going on in automobiles also puts trucks at risk.
So truck drivers must factor in the risk from other vehicles in the degree of carefulness needed to properly operate amongst them. Text messaging, e-mailing and other tasks have become a common for many behind the wheel. Overall, statistics show an increase in accidents due to distractions. The result is, that as our use of new technology grows, our roads have become more dangerous.
Government is doing its best to have a positive impact on traffic safety with new text messaging laws and prohibitions throughout the country. However, despite these new laws, it will be important for truck drivers to be more cautious than ever. Just as commercial drivers must battle fatigue and other issues, being keenly aware of possible distractions in nearby vehicles needs to be a major part of truck safety, now and in the future.
Source: Diesel Truck Driver Training School, truck-school.com