Safety on the Road: Focusing on Preventing Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Thousands of people are killed, and hundreds of thousands more are seriously injured in distracted driving crashes every year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). On average, nine people daily are killed in distracted driving crashes. 

To help combat distracted driving, the NCS designated April as “Distracted Driving Awareness” month, during which free resources were available to help spread the message of safe driving. Additionally, during the week of April 4-8, law enforcement increased on the roads as part of the national paid media campaign, Put the Phone Away or Pay. The campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences—including fines—of texting behind the wheel.

Truckers Behind the Wheel

Because truck drivers spend long hours on the road, it’s not uncommon for them to experience distractions that can lead to accidents. The most common distractions that truckers face include cell phone use (texting, talking), using dispatching devices, adjusting the radio, eating/drinking, reading, looking at a person outside the vehicle, rubbernecking, and reading a billboard.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), based on data collected over three years, about 11,000 truck crashes nationwide involved distractions external to the truck cab. The FMCSA, in a separate study, also found that up to 80% of all truck crashes involved drivers being inattentive in some way in the three seconds before a collision or near-crash occurred.

In addition, according to the FMCSA, commercial truckers dialing a cell phone are six times more likely to crash, and commercial truck drivers texting and driving are 23 times more likely to crash.

Using a hand-held device while driving a commercial motor vehicle can result in fines and driver disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a hand-held communications device while driving.

Distracted Driving Prevention for Truckers

To ensure you and your drivers don’t cause an accident due to distracted driving, consider these tips:

  • Always keep your cell phone in the glove box of your big rig.
  • Make sure that your GPS is calibrated and correct before beginning your journey.
  • Pull over when it’s time to eat.
  • Don’t let objects outside of your cab distract you.
  • Don’t use a dispatching device while driving.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage specializing in commercial truck insurance. We know this stuff and want to make sure you do, too. Our clients appreciate our dedication to finding competitive rates and offering unparalleled service beyond excellent insurance options. They also value how our state-of-the-art automation provides lightning-fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.