4 Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving
For the month of February, we are focusing on distracted driving and the best ways to avoid related accidents. At C.R. England, we have a strict hands-free device policy and expect our drivers to remain focused and alert behind the wheel, but we know there are a lot of things to be distracted by. Passengers, music, the beautiful views on the open road, and electronic devices. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting distracted behind the wheel, so you can work safe and return home safe. It is important to know that there are three different types of distraction: manual, visual, and cognitive- you can read about them here.
Remove Electronic Temptations
Sending a text real quick seems like an innocent and harmless thing, right? But did you know that sending one text takes your eyes off the road for 3.8-4.6 seconds, which when traveling at 55 mph is enough time to travel 300 feet? That text would be taking your eyes off the road for more than the length of a football field!
One of the best things you can do to avoid distracted driving is to never use a hand-held device while behind the wheel. Before you begin a trip, you should let your friends and family know when you expect to be driving so they can reach out to you at times when they won’t be a distraction. If you find yourself being tempted by your cell phone, simply turn your phone off and wait until you are safe, and the truck is not running, to turn it back on. If you would still like to be reachable while driving, make sure that you are only ever using a hands-free device.
Instead of fidgeting around and reaching for things while you are driving, get comfortable and settled in before you hit the road. Think of the things you might need close by you during your journey beforehand and put them in an easily accessible place. Reaching for an object in your vehicle makes you 3-6 times more likely to be involved in an accident and should be avoided. Keep your most used items close to you and get situated before beginning your drive so you can keep your eyes and mind focused on the road.
Know Your Route
Another great way to avoid being distracted in your truck is to properly trip plan and know your route before you begin driving. If you need to use a GPS, atlas, or instructions from a shipper, make sure you have then ready before you turn your truck on. Having directions ready early on will not only combat being distracted later but will also give you peace of mind and help you feel more confident in where you are going.
Take Regular Breaks
We’ve all been there. You’ve been working for a while and suddenly you start losing focus. It’s been some time since you last took a break and your mind is getting tired and starts to wonder. This can be dangerous and is a form of distraction that we often don’t think about. Taking regular breaks will help you feel rested and refreshed, making it easier to fight daydreaming. Having an alert mind will allow you to be more focused, you will have a greater ability to make sound decisions and it will keep you safer.
We know that staying completely undistracted is a hard task but using these four tactics will help make staying alert and focused possible. Always remember, C.R. England has a strict hands-free device policy and handheld devices are never allowed while driving. Think twice the next time you want to send a text or reach for something in your truck. Doing so greatly increases your chances of being involved in an accident and is avoidable by having a safety mindset.