6 Ways Truck Drivers Can Avoid Driving Distracted
Distracted driving can be hard to avoid, as it requires moment-to-moment vigilance in remaining focused. Sometimes it’s not possible to pull over every time you want to change the radio station or take a drink of water, however, recognizing the very serious potential consequences of dividing your attention even for a short time while driving can help you think twice before making splitting your focus, and ensuring that you keep your attention on the road.
Studies show that distracted driving claims an average of eight lives per day, and over 400,000 individuals have been injured due to distracted driving. By taking the precautions below, you can ensure that your life will not be one of those statistics. As a truck driver, there is added importance to remaining focused, because with some 18-wheelers weighing up to five times that of an average passenger vehicle, a single moment of distracted truck driving can cause an almost unlimited amount of damage. Below are some tips for keeping your focus on the road.
Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving:
- Don’t read billboards or advertisements. It can be hard, especially on long stretches, to keep your eyes on the road. However, studies show that 80% of all crashes were caused by driver inattention 3 seconds prior to the crash. An accident can happen in a split second, for something as simple as a driver cutting too close in front of you. If your eyes are on a billboard, they’re not on the road in front of you.
- Never read or respond to texts while driving. First and foremost, it’s illegal in Pennsylvania to text or use a smart phone while driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has also banned texting for commercial drivers while driving. Studies have shown that reading or responding to a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, and increases your chances of being in a life-threatening accident by over twenty-three times. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour and check a text on your phone, you will have traveled the length of an entire football field by the time you look back at the road. It goes without saying that a lot of unexpected events can unfold in that time.
- Do not use a dispatch device while driving. Think of using a dispatch device as “texting for truckers.” It has been shown that using a dispatch device while driving increases a driver’s risk of being involved in a potentially life-threatening accident by nine times.
- Do not try to dial a phone number manually. There can be many people that it’s necessary to call related to your delivery, however, trying to look at a number while dialing it, or even just trying to find a number in contacts, can increase your risk of being involved in a serious crash by three times. If you need to make a call, pull over or use voice control to ensure that you’re able to keep your eyes on the road.
- Use GPS rather than physical maps. Reading and understanding physical maps can require taking your attention off of the road for several minutes at a time, they can also potentially obstruct your view while driving. Listening to a GPS that gives audio instructions is a much safer alternative.
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving. New research shows that eating or drinking while driving is more distracting than talking on a cell phone.
Contact a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
Sometimes even when we take all necessary precautions, accidents happen that are outside of our control. If you’ve been a victim of distracted driving, our firm is here to help. Schedule a free initial consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.