Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, truck drivers have become more distracted. That distraction has led to more crashes and close calls than before the pandemic.

However, why are drivers more distracted than usual, aren’t roads emptier and safer? Join us as we dive into what’s distracting truckers during the pandemic.

Empty Roads

Ever since the pandemic, there have been a lot fewer cars on the road. That was especially true in the beginning during the nationwide lockdowns.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the FMCSA suspended the hours of service requirements. They were trying to make sure that supplies were reaching hospitals and grocery stores.

During that time, many truckers worked long and grueling hours to keep the supply chain intact. The added stress and lack of sleep meant that drivers were more fatigued and driving faster.

However, as society has somewhat adapted to the pandemic, cars began to return to the roadway. Still, there are fewer vehicles on the road than before the pandemic.

With the shutdown of bars and other late-night events, there are fewer drunk drivers out. All this seems like it would make the roads safer for driving in, but actually, it’s become more dangerous.

With fewer cars on the road, truckers are lulled into a false sense of security. With open roads, truckers were feeling more at ease to relax their vigilance and become more distracted.

However, that distracted driving leads to increased speeding. Samsara, a GPS fleet tracking company, found that heavy speeding increased 20% since the start of the pandemic.

That increased speeding and distraction is a recipe for disaster. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that speeding is the cause of one in four fatal crashes.

Increase In Texting and Phone Use

Besides having open roads, data pulled from companies like Truce Software find that phone use is rising. Over the years, texting and social media use has been steadily increasing.

However, after the pandemic, texting and app use has increased by a huge margin. Checking social media went up 20% before the pandemic, and texting went up 26%.

Some speculate that this increased use isn’t necessarily due to the pandemic itself but the reaction to it. Ever since the pandemic started, the news cycle has gone berserk.

People around the nation were concerned with the ongoing and developing pandemic situation and discussing restrictions, lockdowns, infections, and the politics surrounding the pandemic itself.

Truckers, like people around the nation, became glued to each new development. That meant truckers and people, in general, were using their phones much more.

Prevent Distracted Driving

No matter what the road conditions are like, every truck driver has the responsibility to keep themselves and others safe. However, keeping drivers from using their phones is easier said than done.

That’s why there’s mobile software like Truce which locks a driver’s phone when the truck is in motion. Of course, once they pull over or stop the rig, they can use their phones normally.

Only through enforcement and better practices will distracted driving decrease.

While the initial Covid-19 pandemic seems to have increased distracted driving, it seems here to stay. That’s why the trucking industry needs to address this problem before it gets worse.

Truck Drivers Are More Distracted Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic (Here’s Why) was last modified: by