It's a Team's Life
Are you Distracted?
Here is the definition of distracted driving from NHTSA:
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Professional drivers get paid by the mile not the hour (in most cases) and stopping every time we want to sip a drink, reach for a snack, answer or call someone on the phone is not practical. As professional drivers, we also need to know when it is safe to be distracted using NHTSA standards.
Sitting high in the cab of the truck we can see much further down the road than a driver in a corvette so we usually know before others what is happening on down the road. Our eyes should always be scanning ahead, our mirrors, our instrument clusters, and what the traffic is doing beside us. Using a land departure warning system is an aid that can be used as an alert if we wander towards the white lines to help prevent a sideswipe. Having a collision mitigation system also helps as this system is always looking forward while our eyes could be scanning the mirrors or looking at our instruments.
Now that I have covered ways that the truck can assist us if we are distracted by NHTSA standards how can we help ourselves?
- Do not use Big Bubba Gulp Cups - drinking out of what looks like a 55-gallon drum does not let anyone see over the rim of the glass to watch the road. Use several reasonable cups instead of the one mega cup. There are several insulated cups that can keep your beverage cold or warm and you can see over the rim while drinking.
- Have your snacks prepared and within easy reach so you do not have to take your eyes off of the road.
- Use a blue tooth headset that uses voice dial with a touch of a button
- Know the difference of when it is safe or not safe to answer the phone
- Use a phone cradle that allows you to scan the phone as you would your instruments.
- Use a headset that allows you to listen to books or music (especially important when team driving to not wake your sleeping partner)
- Before driving know your route, have everything set within hands reach, and stay hydrated and alert.
We have heard the stats over and over again about how many football fields we can drive by blind if we take our eyes off of the road. We know that texting and driving kills. We have seen the pictures of what happens when distracted.
Before driving set up your work area to drive as the professional driver you are.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.