Driving while distracted leads to accidents and injuries. Truck drivers need to be particularly careful to pay attention to the road due to the size of their vehicles. They take longer to stop and can’t maneuver as well as smaller cars or trucks.

Distractions come from outside and inside a vehicle. Slowed traffic, honking horns, billboards, pedestrians and other outside distractions can affect your concentration. Things like a GPS or cellphone, passenger or radio can distract you inside your vehicle.

It’s easy to decide if something is or is not a distraction. Simply ask yourself one question: Is this thing or person taking your attention off the road? If so, then it is a distraction.

How can you make sure you pay better attention to the road? First, make sure you pay attention to the road at all times. Keep your focus on the vehicles in front of you and to your side, not on billboards or people. Don’t use electronics, and if you feel tired, pull over.

Never text when you’re behind the wheel, even if you’re at a stop. It’s illegal for CMV drivers to text while driving, and it’s illegal in many areas for motor vehicle drivers as well. Texting takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.

Another good tip is to avoid using a handheld device while you’re driving. Even holding a phone can take your mind and hand off the wheel, making it less likely that you’ll be able to concentrate and maneuver your vehicle.

For victims involved in accidents where one driver was distracted or negligent, it’s possible to seek out compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes, truck drivers’ employers are responsible as well, so it’s worth discussing the case with an attorney to see who should be held responsible.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “CMV Driving Tips – Driver Distraction,” accessed Feb. 10, 2017