Truck drivers operate some of the largest – and some of the most dangerous – vehicles on our roads. These giant trucks already pose a great risk to other drivers with their sheer size, wide turns and large blind spots.
And a new report found that this risk could significantly increase if the recent trend of reckless driving continues among truck drivers.
Report: Reckless driving alarmingly common among truck drivers
According to a 2019 report, truck drivers are frequently engaging in two of the riskiest behaviors behind the wheel:
- Cellphone use: Distracted driving has quickly become one of the primary causes of auto accidents in the last few years, and using a cellphone while driving is one of the most dangerous forms. Cellphone use behind the wheel is dangerous for all drivers. However, when truck drivers are distracted, the risk and severity of accidents only increase. A recent truck accident in Kentucky shows just how dangerous it is when truck drivers are distracted.
- Speeding: Speeding is still one of the top causes of car accidents. And the report states that more and more truck drivers are speeding as well. This is a dangerous practice, especially for truck drivers, since they need much more space and time to stop than smaller vehicles do. Speeding and driving recklessly reduce their ability to react.
The increase of truck drivers engaging in these behaviors behind the wheel is alarming, to say the least. The report found that in the 6.2 billion miles they studied, there were roughly 5.5 million dangerous events, with many involving these two risk factors.
Kentucky drivers must be vigilant
There is no doubt that these practices increase the chance of dangerous truck accidents. Truck accidents have already been increasing over the years, and these risky behaviors could lead to even more risks for drivers in smaller vehicles, as well as even more accidents.
So, how can drivers reduce their risk? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that drivers should always give trucks plenty of room on the road and stay out of the “No Zones” around the truck.
Drivers should also make sure they:
- Drive defensively and stay aware of their surroundings;
- Avoid speeding and distractions themselves, so they can focus on driving; and
- Be aware of the risks on the road and take steps to avoid them.
Unfortunately, drivers may not be able to rely on truck drivers to see them or drive safely. That is why all drivers must take steps to minimize the risks they face behind the wheel to help make Kentucky roads safer.