The numbers don’t lie. A recent study found that 71 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck.What exactly qualifies as a distraction? Anything that takes your eyes off the road. Below are 6 tips to keep you safe on the road.
1.) Don’t let anything outside of your truck distract you. Driver inattention is the leading factor in crashes and near crashes. And it doesn’t take long – the same study showed the driver was inattentive for just 3 seconds before the crash. Keep in mind, billboards and roadside attractions are designed to take your eyes off the road. Don’t let them.
2.) Don’t text and drive. First of all, it’s illegal for all CMV drivers. If you’re driving 55 mph and take your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds to text, you will have traveled 120 yards in that time without looking at the road.
3.) Do not use a dispatch device. Using such a device makes you nine times more likely to be involved in an accident. Although a message may seem urgent, using it can be dangerous. Many companies are working on building better dispatching devices. Some dispatching devices are easier to use, allowing you to respond to messages without looking at the screen, and read messages aloud. This can help you keep your eyes on the road.
4.) Do not dial a phone. A recent study of real-world driving found that dialing a handheld cell phone while driving increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by 3 times. Dialing a handheld cell phone requires you to take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.
5.) Do not read, write, or use paper maps. Printed directions, notes to yourself, and maps are a normal part of your job. However, reading or writing while you are driving is a much bigger risk than you might think. Many GPS units and apps allow you to enter an address with your voice only. These voice-activated units help you keep your eyes on the road while still allowing you to get route information.
6.) Avoid eating and drinking while driving. Only 49% of truck drivers polled believe eating and drinking while driving is a safety issue. However, anything that removes one of your hands from the wheel is a risk. Always try to eat and drink before getting behind the wheel, or pull over to do so.
Continue to secure, protect, and grow your business with commercial transportation tips from Ansay & Associates. Visit www.transportation.ansay.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ansay.associates for more.