Nothing can be more frustrating to the ownership and management of a trucking enterprise than having driver accidents attributed to something as simple to avoid as distracted driving. To have such costly mistakes come up from such avoidable oversights can be frustrating, so proper understanding and training can make a huge difference to driver behaviour and to the bottom line of the business.
Understanding the Three Categories of Distracted Driving:
- Manual Distractions: This is when a driver may move his hands off the wheel while the vehicle is in motion. These can come from reaching for something in the passenger seat, dash or in behind, or even just adjusting instrument controls. This could also be from cell phone use.
- Visual Distractions: This is when a driver takes his eyes off the road. This can happen from trying to look around either inside or outside the cab and not paying attention to the road and upcoming obstacles/vehicles. This can include reading as well. This could also be from cell phone use.
- Cognitive Distractions: This is when the mind of the driver is not on the task of driving the vehicle. This is when the driver may be fatigued and not paying attention or having undue stresses leading him to think “outside of the job”. This could also be from cell phone use.
Yup, Cell Phone use is the Major Culprit
Considering that cell phone users are 536% more likely to get into an accident, getting drivers on board with minimized cell phone use (Or hands-free options) can make a large difference. Cell phones contribute to all three categories of distracted driving (Manual, Visual, and Cognitive) so making drivers understand that cell phone use, no matter how minor, can put them at risk.
Activities drivers need to be aware that all of the following, as innocuous as they seem,can cause accidents:
- Reading off their phone
- Dialing out a call
- Watching a movie/TV show
- Holding the phone while talking
So educating drivers of these risks can be very important as many may never realize the risks these minor actions put them in. Cell phones are part of everyday life and fully integrated into everyone’s life, but educating drivers that there is a time and a place can save a ton of headaches, money and possibly save some lives.