Trucking: distracted driving dangers

Posted in Business

Distracted driving is becoming more and more responsible for accidents while producing disastrous consequences. Specifically, truck drivers are more susceptible to texting and driving behind the wheel, falling asleep, getting distracted by radio or television and much more.

According to TruckingTruth.com, it is estimated that a dialing or texting driver takes his eyes off the road for 3.8 to 4.6 seconds at a time. During that time a truck traveling at 55 mph will go the length of a football field (300 feet).

Certain penalties for truck drivers who are caught driving while distracted include paying a fine up to $2,750, violations that will negatively affect the employer’s Safety Measurement Status ratings and the driver’s employer can be fined up to $11,000 if they knowingly allow or require drivers to use hand-held devices while driving.1

Truck drivers can stay safe from distracted driving by pulling off the road, avoiding texting and driving, being prepared before getting behind the wheel and properly securing every item in the cab.

The American Trucking Association shares numerous road safety tips for truck drivers including:

Out of sight, out of mind

  • Avoid temptation by putting phones on silent and storing it somewhere that is not visible, but easily accessible
  • Seeing a notification and wanting to immediately respond is hard but to stay safe, it’s best to keep phones out of sight

Never text and drive

  • Sending a text can take around five seconds – enough time to cause a deadly accident
  • Debris can fly into your lane, an animal can run in front of your truck, another driver might change lanes and immediately hit the brakes

Be prepared to drive before getting behind the wheel

  • Set time aside and eat before getting on the road
  • Make sure to be fully awake by getting the proper amount of sleep
  • Do not try and multitask while driving – get settled before getting on the road

Properly secure every item in the vehicle

  • It’s best to secure anything that could potentially fall on the floor and spill while driving at fast speeds
  • Do not place anything on your lap or near the driver’s side floor
  • Items can slide under the brake pedal and prevent you from stopping if incorrectly secured

Smartphones are one of the largest contributors to distracted driving, but there are many other factors that can pull a driver’s attention away from the road. When spending up to 11 hours a day on a highway that seems to go on forever, the dullness can lend itself to any distractions. Truck drivers must maintain focus always, and even the slightest, momentary lapse in attentiveness, judgment, or performance can lead to disaster.

To keep all drivers on the road safe, follow the above tips but also make sure you’re insured for any potential accident that may occur by contacting your Independent Agent.

Sources:
1 TruckingTruth.com


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