In today’s culture of smartphones and ever changing technology, it’s becoming easier for drivers (truck drivers or otherwise) to get distracted. Despite many laws that prohibit dangers such as texting and driving, not everyone follows such safety precautions. This may lead to dangerous situations out on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the nation saw 3,450 deaths attributed to distracted driving in 2016. Fortunately, this is a problem that is solvable.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds while driving 55 miles per hour equals driving the length of a football field. Whatever takes your focus off of safe driving is a distraction. This could be looking at your cell phone, eating, looking at the scenery around you, adjusting the radio, etc. Don’t fret! Not all of these things are necessarily bad – under the right conditions.
We know the problem: distraction. So, what’s the solution?
- Problem: Checking your phone (Calls, texts, social media interactions, etc)
- Solution: Wait until you are not driving or utilize safety features such as Bluetooth. This ensures that your eyes do not leave the road to look at a screen.
- Problem: Driving and Eating
- Solution: Eat before you get behind the wheel or wait until you have stopped. Eating and driving is very dangerous because it not only takes your eyes off the road, but it also takes your hands off the wheel.
- Problem: Outside Distractions
- Solution: Because your eyes are on the road, it may be easy to get lost in the scenery around you. This could include buildings, other vehicles, and billboards. Use caution! It’s fine to take in your surroundings, but when you let your focus rest there for too long, it becomes dangerous. Remember, it only takes a second’s glance away from the road when a problem can occur. Limit your sightseeing until it is safe to do so.
Trucking, and driving period, requires complete attention on the road. You can’t help what other drivers do, but you can help everyone else by practicing safe driving from your end.