Bad truck drivers are a reality on our highways.
Fortunately, unsafe truck drivers are few in number. But, it only take a few to create a danger zone on a public highway.
As professional drivers, we need to recognize this problem and be part of the solution to eliminate bad truck drivers from our highway.
Dangerous Things Truck Drivers Do – Very FEW Truck Drivers Do
These are 2 of the most dangerous things some CDL drivers do, that we need to watch out for.
- Truck Driver Distracted Driving
Ever have one of those days, when you’re truly disappointed with mankind? When you see something so stupid, you are ashamed to be a human being AND a truck driver ?
The other day, we passed a big truck, where the driver had his laptop fixed to his dashboard, and was enjoying a movie, while driving. It was a ‘Western’ truck.
I’ve seen some pretty dumb things over the years, but this one just may take the ‘stupidest move ever’ prize. It’s not hard to see why distracted driving has become such a focus for law enforcement .
We could blame the advanced technology of the day for enabling us to make these transgressions.
I guess we could also blame the speed limiting function on modern day trucks, belonging to big fleets with an eye on fuel and cost savings. It can be pretty boring and frustrating to drive at slower speeds.
Truly? The real fault ultimately lies with the lack of judgement and poor skills of the truck driver behind the wheel. The truck driver is responsible for their actions.
- Truck Drivers Driving Too Fast
Most truckers are paid by the mile. So the goal is to rack in as many miles in a day as possible.
The result of this pay system is commercial drivers driving too fast for road conditions and traffic congestion.
How the FMCSA Defines Distracted Driving
The FMCSA has a dim view of distracted driving by CDL drivers.
There are heavy fines for distracted driving for truckers as well as for the carrier employing them.
So it’s in the best interests of the trucking company to enforce these rules.
The FMCSA defines refraining from the following which is classified as distracted driving:
- No reaching. No reaching for a map, your phone, adjusting the radio, something that falls on the floor etc.
- No holding items. Holding a cup of coffee, a map, a phone or whatever.
- No dialing. No using a phone, the satellite system even if it’s for dispatch orders and anything. Doesn’t matter.
- No texting. A no-brainer but some still feel it necessary, but no texting on a phone. Distracted driving.
- No reading. No reading a map, or a document or anything or the satellite screen, phone etc.
Here you will find further detail including fines regarding cell phone use.
- FMCSA Texting Rules
- FMCSA Mobile Phone Restrictions – They outline in more detail what truckers SHOULDN’T do, the risks, expected compliance and fines.
- FMCSA Limitations of the Use of Wireless Devices
The FMCSA sums it up well.
NO CALL, NO TEXT, NO TICKET.
Trucking Companies May Be Getting What They’ve Paid For
What do trucking company owners think when they become aware of one of their people behaving this way?
Do they ever stop and think they might be getting what they’ve paid for?
Mediocre wages don’t exactly attract the best quality professionals.
The current shortage of truck drivers in North America has placed some low quality bad truck drivers at the wheel. Big fleets are hiring in large numbers and not being selective of the quality of driver they are hiring.
Bad Truck Drivers – A Few Bad Apples Spoil the Bunch
It’s really embarrassing for the majority of the professional truck drivers in this industry.
It’s a sad fact that the driving public often comes in contact with these low grade dangerous drivers. They then judge ALL truck drivers as being reckless and dangerous drivers who bully the public on the roadways.
It’s no wonder the public has a low opinion of the truck driver and have little to no respect for us.
How to Report Dangerous Truck Drivers
If you are a trucker and see something like the driver I saw, or a trucker texting or making dangerous maneuvers,
- Get the company name, plate, and unit number, if you’re able. If you have a dashcam in your truck, the recording will pick up the plate number, company name and maybe even the actions of the driver.
- Call the police when you have the opportunity to land your truck safely. Try to give the absolute best location of where you are, in order to increase the chances the authorities can locate the dangerous truck driver.
- Call the trucking company of the driver at the first chance you have.
Yes, this will take some time our of your day to do. It’s a mere few moments of your time and it may save someone’s life.
Professional Truckers Patrolling The Trucking Industry – Helping to Fix the Problem
As professional drivers, it’s up to us to help patrol our very own trucking industry.
The bright side of this?
The large majority of truckers, don’t fall into the category of ‘clueless’.
Thank goodness, the majority of truck drivers hold themselves to a higher standard as professional drivers.
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