Driving distractions are no joke and many of these distractions can lead to tragic accidents. We believe that by identifying the distractions and addressing them right away can play a big part to keep drivers and motorists safe on the road. There are many driving distractions that can arise, especially when a driver has been driving for hours on end. Recognize the distractions and do your part as a driver, to eliminate the risk.
1. Cell Phones and Tablets
It’s widely known that the main case for distracted driving comes from our smart devices. Many laws are in place for both truck drivers and motorists to prevent them from being on their smartphones, but this does not always mean that is the case. Out of sight, out of mind, is a good tip for drivers. Before you start your trip, take your phone and put it away where you cannot hear or see it to prevent checking the device while driving. Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can turn into a devastating outcome.
2. GPS Programming
Messing with a GPS can turn your attention away from the road, even for a few moments. Get with your dispatcher right away for the correct pick-up and delivery addresses so they can be programmed before you start your trip. If you do need directions, do not mess with your device but instead stop somewhere safe and then call your dispatcher on your hands-free device to get directions into the facility you are picking up or delivering to.
Driving for a long time can cause an appetite but eating while driving can take your hands away from the wheel or take your eyes away from the road. To prevent eating while driving, eat before or after a trip, on a 30-min DOT regulated break, a fuel stop, or on your rest break.
4. Messing with the Radio
It can be especially easy to want to mess with the radio when you are driving, listening to the same station for multiple hours can be annoying. Like eating, consider changing your radio station during periodic stops in transit. Messing with the radio causes a driver to take his hands off the steering wheel and takes eyes away from the road.
5. Grabbing Items in the Cab
Make sure before you start your trip that you have everything where you need it. There should never be a reason to be reaching around the cab for items or objects especially when your focus should be on the road and getting to your destination safely.
6. Smoking Cigarettes
Sometimes smoking can be a stress reliever, but not only is it bad for your health, it is a danger to do while driving. To avoid the cigarette craving while driving, use nicotine gum or patches. The gum and patches may even assist in quitting smoking!
7. Conversations with Passengers
All passengers need to be approved by the safety department, for most companies. If you do happen to have a passenger in your cab with you, it is easy to be distracted by them. Before starting your trip, explain to your passenger that you need to focus on the road and keeping them and you safe while driving and to keep conversation to a minimum.
8. Reading Billboards
Sometimes billboards are funny or have interesting pictures, but they are still a big distraction on the road and can take your attention away from driving. Most the advertisements on billboards are for churches, lawyers, or local businesses anyway. Try to ignore them!
Rubber-necking is when you slowly look at an accident or other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. Outside distractions can cause a collision or accident. Even looking away from the road for a few seconds can be a tragic mistake, especially in a situation where there is already an accident and you are already in traffic it can be easy to rear-end another vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road and roll past the accident next time instead of looking.
10. Waving or Shouting at Pedestrians and Other Vehicles
Maybe you see someone you know outside or in another vehicle, maybe there is something crazy they are wearing or have on their car. If you do see someone you know, maybe call them when you’re safely stopped to let them know instead of taking your attention off the road. If someone outside the cab warrants a shout-out, don’t do it. It isn’t worth the costly mistake that could potentially happen.