In 2016, over 3000 deaths were caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
With the rise of smartphones and texting, distracted driving has become a hot topic for drivers and truck drivers alike. It’s just too dangerous when traveling at high speeds. A mere 5 seconds glance at your phone can cause an accident, all to read a text message.
But, to be fair, distracted driving is caused by a lot of other factors besides screens. Whether you’re fiddling with buttons on the center console, eating while trying to hold the steering wheel or looking out the window at the passing scenery, you are putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
Here are 3 gentle reminders to prevent distracted driving habits and promote defensive driving instead.
Patience is key! Eating at the wheel makes it difficult to steer as you are trying to concentrate on multiple actions at once. It’s just not worth it. Wouldn’t you rather be sitting at a table savoring each bite of your food? Eat before hitting the road or when you arrive at your destination.
As a trucker, long hours on the road can sometimes lead to getting lost in the scenery outside the window. This, of course, compromises concentration. Enjoying the view is never a bad thing, and you definitely want to be aware of what’s outside- just take care not to overdo it. Keeping you gaze off the road for a few seconds is all it takes for an accident to occur.
Tuck your phone away in your bag in the backseat, turn it off, whatever you have to do- do it! The text messages can wait until you’ve reached your destination. If you are expecting an important phone call, especially when delivering a shipment, invest in a bluetooth system, so you can speak while keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.