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How the 'what if?' game helps drivers focus

Truck drivers face all of the same distractions that other drivers do, from the allure of cellphone use to the simple distraction of daydreaming.

In some ways, though, the risk may be higher. Truck drivers are on the road for 40 hours per week. They are very good at driving and very used to doing it. This can lead to complacency and boredom, which could cause them to engage in distractions.

To keep from being distracted, drivers need more than just a set of rules. It can help for them to have an alternative that keeps them focused and engaged with the task of driving, even if they have been doing it for 30 years.

Some industry experts suggest playing the "What if?" game on the road. It's not hard, but it helps drivers think about what they're doing and how they can stay safe.

For instance, a truck driver may look farther down the interstate and ask: "What if that passenger car in the left lane switches over into the right lane?"

The answer may be simple: "I'll need to slow down."

But that leads to more questions. How hard will the truck have to brake to stop in time? Is the left lane clear if the truck driver needs to switch lanes? How close are the cars behind the truck? If the truck slows suddenly to avoid the car, will the truck get rear-ended?

That car may never switch lanes, but playing this mental game helps drivers be ready for anything.

Have you been injured in a truck accident, perhaps due to driver distraction? If so, make sure you understand all of your legal options.

Source: Fleet Owner, "Keeping your drivers focused in a world of distractions," Cristina Commendatore, accessed April 18, 2018

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