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Truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their large vehicles safely on public roadways. When a truck driver becomes distracted, it puts everyone on the road at risk. Some common distractions for truck drivers include texting, eating, and other behaviors that take the driver’s attention away from the road. Understanding the dangers of distracted truck driving can help raise awareness about this critical safety issue.

Texting While Driving

One of the most hazardous distractions for any driver is texting behind the wheel. This is especially true for truck drivers, who are navigating massive, heavy trucks capable of causing serious damage in a collision. Studies have shown that texting drivers have delayed reaction times comparable to drunk drivers. When a truck driver looks down to read or compose a text message, their eyes are taken off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At highway speeds, this can mean traveling the length of a football field without looking at the road. Truck drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event such as a near-crash, crash, or unintended lane departure. Despite the risks, some truck drivers still engage in this dangerous practice.

Eating or Drinking on the Road

Another common but hazardous distraction for truck drivers is eating or drinking while driving. Truck drivers often have tight delivery schedules, which can lead some to eat meals behind the wheel to save time. However, eating while driving takes the driver’s attention and focus away from operating their vehicle safely. Truck drivers often eat with one hand while steering with the other, minimizing control of the truck. Spilling coffee, sodas, or other beverages is also a risk. Safe truck driving requires two hands firmly on the wheel and complete concentration at all times.

Operating In-Cab Technology

Many modern semi trucks come equipped with onboard computers, GPS navigation systems, cell phones, and other gadgets that can distract truck drivers. Drivers may be tempted to fiddle with stereo controls, program a GPS route, or reach for a ringing phone. Even hands-free mobile phone conversations can be hazardous, as the driver’s mind is focused on the conversation rather than driving. Truck drivers should refrain from operating any in-cab technology while driving and pull over if necessary before using onboard systems.


Driver fatigue is another form of impairment that can distract truck drivers from the task of driving safely. Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight delivery windows, which can lead some drivers to push themselves to the point of exhaustion. Drowsy or fatigued truck drivers may lose attentiveness, reaction time, and ability to operate their trucks safely. Experts recommend truck drivers maintain proper sleep hygiene, take regular breaks, and defer to federal Hours of Service regulations to avoid driving while dangerously tired.

Other Activities

Truck drivers may also become distracted by other activities that take their focus away from driving. For example, some truck drivers smoke cigarettes or vape while driving, causing them to take their eyes off the road. Truck drivers may also bend down to pick up a fallen item in the cab, read a map or paperwork, or become distracted by events outside the truck. Any non-driving activity can pose a hazard to safe operation of the truck.

Staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions should always be the truck driver’s top priority. Lives are on the line. By being mindful of potential distractions, truck drivers can help make our roadways safer for everyone.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck collision caused by a distracted driver, contact our experienced truck accident injury lawyers for help recovering damages. We have a strong record of success holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable after an accident.

For a free consultation on your case, call our office today on (614) 224-4114.

Or visit our offices at:

  • Westerville – 4151 Executive Pkwy, Suite 355, Westerville, OH 43081
  • Mansfield – 33 S. Lexington-Springmill Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906

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