When something is this critical to the safety of your truck drivers and the health of your trucking business, it’s important not to leave definitions to chance. Distracted driving is more than texting. Make sure to talk to your new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
People get distracted. Sometimes it’s a clever billboard or a person in a costume walking down the street. Sometimes it’s a non-urgent need to use dispatch equipment. They may be reaching for a map or using a cell phone – either talking or texting and driving.
It’s all distracted driving. And it leads to over 25% of truck accidents. A fleet owner, on average, will be out of pocket around $70,000 per event. Some studies show this average even higher. The effects of distracted driving on trucking businesses can be huge. It’s also dangerous, which is why the FMCSA has banned handheld cell phone use for commercial vehicle drivers
Preventing distracted driving is important. But you can’t prevent what you don’t know about.
In British Columbia recently, a horse and buggy driver received a simple citation for texting while conducting a tour down city streets. Distracted driving really can happen anywhere.
But while all distracted driving is dangerous, some distracted driving is more dangerous and therefore more costly to those involved. Such is the case for transportation businesses like your own.
Last year, work-related crashes cost owners nearly $57,000,000,000. Yes, that’s billion. 26% of this can be directly connected to driver distraction.
A topic that has gotten a lot of attention from the trucking community and the population at large is distracted driving. There are dire warnings about texting and driving – you’ve probably seen some billboards or a TV commercial imploring people to put their phones down and drive. There’s a good reason for this. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), there were over 3,400 deaths caused by texting and driving in 2015. 390,000 more were injured in distracted driving accidents. Add to that a statistic from the CDC – 9 people are killed and 1,000 are injured every day in distracted driving accidents – and it’s enough to make you pause.
The point is this: distracted driving is dangerous. The statistics prove that. As a trucker, you spend hours upon hours on the roads. The highway is your workplace. And the thing is, driving requires your full attention to be on the road. If the statistics weren’t enough to convince you, let’s take a look at some more reasons that distracted driving is so dangerous, especially as a truck driver.
As a truck driver, there are many rules for you to keep track of. There’s one that was established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that’s especially important for you to know. The FMCSA has prohibited the use of handheld cell phones by CMV drivers – drivers of semi trucks, box trucks, flatbeds, and other trucks. And there are pretty severe consequences for breaking this law. We’ll explain what you need to know about the cell phone ban, and we’ll go over why it’s important to adhere to it.