Advancements in technology have made life easier and faster in many ways. This includes on the road. However, everything comes with a risk, and technology is no different.
Truckers utilize electronic devices to help them do their job, such as two-way radios, cellphones and navigation systems. Improper use of this equipment often leads to accidents. If you were in an accident with a semitruck, misuse of technology may have been a contributing factor.
Radios and cellphones
The danger of using a cellphone while operating any vehicle is common knowledge. Electronic devices take hands off the steering wheel, eyes off the road and the mind off of driving. Therefore, cellphone use is illegal for commercial drivers except under certain criteria (such as using a hands-free device).
Two-way radios are legal, but they, too, can present similar risks. Radios should be close by and easily accessible to prevent reaching far, which requires letting go of the wheel.
Truckers are on a tight schedule with a lot of pressure to make deliveries on time, so they use GPS to help them find the fastest routes. Relying on GPS can be a problem in the following ways:
- The trucker may not choose the right GPS for commercial driving. Drivers need to know areas where heavy or tall trucks cannot go.
- The GPS may lack important updates on routes that affect safety. If the system does not have automatic updates, the trucker may not know to take care of it manually.
- The trucker may not enter all relevant information, such as truck size or the presence of hazardous cargo. On the other hand, he or she may put in incorrect information.
- The trucker may become distracted from driving by changing GPS settings while on the road. This carries the same danger as texting while driving.
Being a trucker is a stressful, demanding job, but that is no excuse not to be safe behind the wheel. Truck drivers, as well as the companies they work for, are accountable for any accidents that occur.