Truck driver distractions are a big risk not only for the transport industry but for all drivers in general. We know that a distracted driver can travel the distance of a football field in the time it takes to read a text message. This implies a seriously hazardous situation since a truck can cause great damage and even take the lives of innocent people in the event of an accident.
Several studies have focused on documenting the weight of the problem, achieving results that are enough to help us understand the extent that distracted truck driving can have. These studies have found that, on average, drivers can spend 3.5 minutes every hour watching the screen of their cell phones. In addition to mobile phones, there are other distractions even inside the cabin, which can make drivers take their eyes off the road.
To counter the risks that these distractions represent, experts are working on different technological advances designed specifically for distracted drivers. These advances include systems that block cell phones when they are inside a moving vehicle, monitoring systems installed inside the cabins that help record driver’s behavior, and hands-free communication systems, to name a few.
Another great example includes telematic systems that can identify and record patterns of driving and behavior, such as hard braking, pronounced turns or risk, and other situations behind the wheel. There are even artificial intelligence systems designed to identify fatigue, distractions, and other factors.
It is important to mention that we should not expect technology to solve a problem that is clearly caused by human behavior. It is the responsibility of transport companies to offer training, education, and awareness campaigns directed to their entire staff, and not only to drivers. This way we can generate a culture of safe practices, helping our drivers understand the seriousness of the issue from a more effective perspective.