Fleet Safety 101: The Distracted Driver
Distracted driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry that can lead to accidents and fatalities on the road. Though this can be a broad term, in summary, distracted driving can be defined as a driver's attention being diverted from the task of driving, whether it be by a cell phone, in-cab distractions, or external distractions.
There are three types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions occur when a driver takes their eyes off the road. Manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions occur when a driver's mind is not fully focused on driving.
Examples of distracted driving include texting or talking on the phone while driving, eating or drinking while driving, adjusting the radio or GPS, and looking at something inside or outside the vehicle. Distracted driving can also include interacting with passengers or pets, or being preoccupied with personal problems or thoughts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 alone, 2,841 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving is a preventable problem, and there are steps that trucking companies and individual drivers can take to reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents.
Trucking companies can implement policies that prohibit the use of cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, and provide training to educate drivers about the risks of distracted driving. Companies can also invest in technologies that block or limit the use of cell phones while driving, or that alert drivers when they are engaging in distracted behavior.
Individual drivers can also take steps to reduce the risk of distracted driving. This may include putting away cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, avoiding interacting with passengers or pets while driving, and taking breaks to rest and recharge if they are feeling distracted or fatigued.
In summary, distracted driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry that can lead to accidents and fatalities on the road. Trucking companies and individual drivers can take steps to reduce the risk of distracted driving by implementing policies, using technologies to block or limit the use of electronic devices while driving, and practicing safe driving behaviors.
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