Throughout your trucking career, one of your most important goals while on the job should be traversing the road safely. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., leading to hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Learning the dangers of distracted driving and how you can avoid driving distracted will protect not only you, but the drivers you encounter while on the road as well.
The Basics of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving refers to any type of driving while your full attention is not on the road. Distractions may be large or small, ranging from phone conversations and texting behind the wheel to checking a map, changing the radio station, or eating. Any activity that takes your attention away from the road is considered distracted driving and increases your chances of an accident.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a danger because distractions reduce your ability to react quickly and properly to changes in road conditions. However, it’s also important to note that even if you are driving without distractions, the vehicles around your truck may be controlled by distracted drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at any given time, 660,000 car and truck drivers are using handheld phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel. Taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds to dial a phone, read a text, or type a word can result in distracted driving over the length of a football field if your truck is moving just 55 mph. The results of distracted driving are just as widespread—more than 3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries were reported in 2012 as a result of distracted driving.
Taking steps to reduce distractions in the cab can keep you and those around your truck safer while on the road. You can learn more about safe truck driving techniques when you visit HDS Truck Driving Institute on the web to check out our informative blog, or by calling (877) 205-2141 for details about our CDL school in Tucson.