It Can Harm Your Career, Your Safety and the Safety of Others
With more vehicles on the road and an increase in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities, it is essential to remain distraction-free while driving to ensure your safety and a successful career.
TIP #1: Focus and Drive
When driving, stay focused on the act of driving your truck. Paying attention only to things that are related to driving will help keep you aware of the road and cars around you and will help make sure you react quickly. More importantly, it can help you anticipate hazards before they happen.
- A 2006 study found that driver inattention was the leading factor in crashes and near-crashes. The study found that nearly 80 percent of crashes involved some form of driver inattention in the three seconds before the crash or near-crash.
- A three-year data collection effort by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that an estimated 11,000 truck crashes nationwide involved distractions external to the truck cab.
- Billboards and other advertisements near the road are meant to get your attention. However, anything that takes your eyes off the road ahead can be a distraction. Aim to minimize the amount of time you spend looking at these objects.
TIP #2: Don’t Text and Drive
We all know texting and driving is not only unsafe, it’s illegal. Simply put, don’t do it!
- A 2009 study of real-world driving found that text messaging while driving increased a driver’s chances of being involved in a safety-critical event by 23 times. This study found that, in the moments before a safety-critical event, drivers who were texting while driving spent nearly five seconds looking at their phone.
- If you are driving at 55 mph and take your eyes off the road for five seconds to write a text message, you have traveled the length of a football field (end zones included) without looking at the road.
TIP #3: Don’t Dispatch and Drive
Dispatching devices let you and your dispatchers communicate, can help you navigate, and can help keep your logs. Although a message on the dispatching device might seem urgent, using a dispatching device while driving can lead to distracted driving. This is because the dispatching device can take your eyes, hands and mind away from driving safely. Since using a dispatching device while driving raises your risk of a crash, many companies have policies in place or lock out features when the truck is moving. Using a dispatching device is “texting for truckers.”
- A 2009 study of real-world driving found that using a dispatching device while driving increased a driver’s chances of being involved in a safety-critical event by 9 times.82
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in the interest of public safety, kept it short and simple regarding the use of mobile devices by truck drivers:
- No Reaching
- No Holding
- No Dialing
- No Texting
- No Reading
TIP #4: Don’t Eat and Drive
Sometimes you may feel like driving is the only time you have to eat. Eating while driving can take your eyes off the road. It always takes at least one of your hands off the wheel. Always try to eat your meals before getting behind the wheel or leave time to pull over and eat.
- A survey of all types of drivers found that 49 percent of drivers believed eating or drinking while driving could be a distraction.
- A recent study found that eating while driving was riskier than talking on a cell phone.
The list below is not new to professional drivers; however, this is a great reminder of key items that effect your safety, the safety of others on the road and the success of your career.
- Buckle up
- Watch your speed
- Proceed with caution on unfamiliar roadways
- Make sure you have adequate equipment before getting on the road
- Get enough rest
- Limit distractions in your cab
- Allow plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles
If you want to do well in this industry, being safe and professional on the road should be your top priority. Your driving record does matter as ATC Driveaway only hires drivers who are experienced and reputable. Only independent driver/contractors who have all the necessary licensing with clean driving records and a courteous disposition on and off the road are considered to be an ATC Driveaway Driver. This is why ATC customers are assured the best delivery experience possible: we hire only the best! If you are interested in contracting with us, learn more about our ATC Driveaway Driver requirements here.