CB Radios… Distraction or Safety Feature?

It’s hard to imagine a trucker without a CB Radio. TV, movies, and good ole’ truckin’ songs have made a permanent connection between the two. But today, many truckers don’t have, or don’t use a CB radio. Some believe that the Trucking Channel (or the Weather Channel) on Sirius/XM Radio is all the information they need. Some are just tired of hearing the “trash talk” and turn it off. Others find that not having a radio puts them in a better situation at shippers/receivers in terms of being able to rest and relax while they are waiting. Once in a while, I hear CB’s mentioned in the distracted driving debate.

What is distracted driving? We all seem to agree texting while driving is a stupid move. But we aren’t so sure about talking on the telephone, or eating, or even changing the radio station or a CD. So what about the CB radio? It’s not hands-free like a bluetooth headset. It’s possible to be so caught up in a conversation your attention wanders away from the road… just like a phone call. Or to drop something, or look away from the road to change the channel or some other setting. Is it a distraction?

There are also drivers who swear by the CB, especially for knowing what’s coming just up the road… traffic jams or bad weather & road conditions come up much more often than “where’s Smokey?” Some go so far as to say that it’s irresponsible to drive without your CB on to hear about possible problems in front of you. Many drivers also talk about how the CB keeps them company on those long boring stretches of road. They say it helps them stay awake and more alert on overnight runs. So which is it? Is the CB a needed safety feature, or a distraction that should be avoided? (Please add your thoughts to the comments… off-topic comments or links will be deleted.)

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