The FMCSA reported on its “CMV Driving Tips – Driver Distraction” page that 71 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck.
That’s why it’s crucial that truckers — and trucking companies and safety managers — do anything and everything to ensure they stay focused on the task at hand: Safely trucking from Point A to Point B.
6 tips to avoid distracted driving truck accidents
To make the task of driving distraction-free a little easier, the FMCSA offers the following suggestions truck drivers:
- Do not let objects outside of your truck distract you.
- Do not text while driving.
- Do not use a dispatching device while driving.
- Do not dial a handheld phone while driving.
- Do not read, write, or use paper maps while driving.
- Avoid eating and drinking when driving.
FleetOwner’s tips for fleet managers and truck drivers to stop distracted driving truck accidents
In its excellent April 6, 2017, post, “Keeping your drivers focused in a world of distractions,” FleetOwner Newsline offered the following safety suggestions to prevent distracted driving-related truck accidents:
- Truck drivers should play the “what-if” game, which requires truckers to be “‘constantly looking ahead and at drivers of other vehicles … [and] constantly asking themselves, “What if that driver has to switch lanes, or what if that equipment falls off that trailer.” They play that game to keep alert, and they’re ready to respond. Situational awareness is obviously key.’”
- Cellphone blockers could be useful in terms of reducing distraction.
- An in-cab camera system will pick up if a driver used a cellphone, and the manager will pick up on that.
- Rule of thumb: When using GPS, always set have your driver set his or her destination before he or she leaves. Mount the phone or device so it remains hands-off through the drive.
- Always watch where you’re going. The most common sources of accidents its some common form of inattention.
- Take a break if you need to and get back on the road when you’re able to.