Accidents happen daily for any number of reasons, and now more than ever, distracted driving is rising as a major contributor car and trucking wrecks. Distracted driving is a term used for anything that takes your focus off the road for any given period of time.
According to the NHTSA, there are an estimated 660,000 distracted drivers on the road most of the time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules against truck and bus drivers using mobile devices while driving, however that doesn’t mean it never happens. It just means it shouldn’t.
And even when truck drivers are following the rules, they still are spending many hours on the road with other types of drivers who may be distracted in some way and that can lead to dangerous situations.
But what types of incidents constitute distracted driving?
- Texting and driving
- Cell phones are by far the most notorious distraction. One text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for nearly 4.6 seconds. To put this in perspective, that’s similar to driving an entire football field blindfolded. If this results in reckless driving, insurance rates will jump more than the rates of a first-time DWI.
- Talking on the phone and driving
- In a simulation, cell phone talkers got in more accidents than even those driving drunk. Talking on a cell phone slows reaction time by 26%, even when using a hands-free headset.
- Eating and driving
- More than 8 in 10 people eat or drink while driving.
- Drinking and driving
- You may not think this is a big deal, but if you take a big gulp of a drink while driving, you may be more likely to swerve into another lane. This could make you hit another car or a pedestrian walking down the street.
- Applying makeup and driving
- This could result in receiving a ticket for careless driving, which could increase your car insurance greatly.
- Watching or using a GPS while driving
- Like trying to text and drive, using a GPS while driving significantly takes the focus away from driving. Try to set your GPS before you start driving to your destination.
- Listening to loud music
- A car radio can reach 95 decibels, which is the same as a noisy lawn mower. This sound level can cause hearing damage and reaction time by 20%.
If you are not 100% focused on the road ahead, you are likely to miss something happening on the road, which could cause you to be part of an accident. Being a distracted driver in any of the above ways is not worth losing your job or your life. June is National Safety Month, and that’s a great time of year to remind us to keep safety top of mind at all times so we can all arrive at our destinations without any mishaps.
However, if you ever do find yourself in a bad situation as a truck driver, remember North Dixie Truck and Trailer, Inc. offers 24/7 emergency services. Simply call us at 1-800-440-9523 and we’ll be right there to help get you back on the road.