Publish Date: June 13, 2024
Author: Seubert
Tags: Blog - SeubertU

Preventing Distracted Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that takes an individual’s attention off the road. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious consequences. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving contributes to nearly 400,000 injuries and 3,000 fatalities each year. With this in mind, it’s imperative for trucking companies to ensure their drivers remain attentive on the road and minimize distractions amid their journeys. Read on for some common causes of distracted driving and related prevention tips.

Causes of Distracted Driving

Distractions behind the wheel are generally considered visual, physical, cognitive or auditory in nature. Here’s a breakdown of these distractions:

  • Visual distractions—Such distractions involve a driver taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions are reading emails or text messages, looking at maps or navigation systems, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions) while driving.
  • Manual distractions—These distractions entail a driver removing their hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking or performing personal grooming tasks (e.g., applying makeup) while driving.
  • Cognitive distractions—Such distractions stem from thinking about something other than driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions are focusing on vehicle passengers or daydreaming while driving.
  • Auditory distractions—These distractions are audible elements that divert a driver’s attention from the road. Some examples of auditory distractions include listening to loud music or talking on the phone while driving.

Prevention Tips

Fortunately, trucking companies can minimize distracted driving among their commercial fleets by educating their drivers on prevention tactics. As such, trucking companies should share the following guidance with their drivers:

  • Put away phones. Employees should silence their phones and store them in a safe location that is out of reach to avoid checking them while driving. Per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, drivers caught using their phones behind the wheel could face hefty fines, penalties and even disqualification.
  • Plan trips before leaving. Employees should program their navigation systems before hitting the road to get familiar with their journeys and feel confident in their routes.
  • Avoid multitasking. Drivers must never complete additional tasks, such as eating or personal grooming, behind the wheel.
  • Stay focused. Employees can keep their minds concentrated on the road by playing music at a reasonable volume, keeping distracting conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead.
  • Maintain compliance. Drivers must comply with all workplace policies and any applicable local, state and federal legislation (e.g., FMCSA regulations) regarding distracted driving.

Contact us to see how you could minimize risk: