The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the United States. The FMCSA’s main concern and top priority is safety.
One top concern the FMCSA has is truckers and distracted driving. Distracted driving is operating a vehicle while being engaged in another activity. Nowadays it typically involves the use of a mobile phone or some form of electronic device. You are all the more likely to cause an accident when you are driving distracted because it is dangerous.
Here are some tips to prevent distracted driving and keep all drivers safe.
1.) Use Your Cell Phone for Emergency Situations Only
While you are operating a vehicle, a cell phone should only be used for emergency purposes. Even if there is an emergency, it is best to pull over safely to the right shoulder to make a call. Handsfree devices can still cause you to miss important visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash.
Social conversations on cell phones should not be carried on while driving. Remember, it is against the law in a growing number of jurisdictions. You could be ticketed and fined.
2.) Avoid Eating While Driving
Being busy is not a valid excuse for distracted driving. Finishing your breakfast on the way to pick up a load might be a huge timesaver, but it also means you are less attentive to the drivers around you. Food spills are a major cause of distraction.
3.) If You Are Drowsy, Pull Off the Road
Drowsiness increases the risk of a crash by nearly four times. A government study shows that 37 percent of drivers (in the United States) have nodded off or actually fallen asleep at least once during their driving careers.
If you feel tired, pull off the road, and rest. You should not try to get home faster.
4.) Limit the Number of Passengers Inside the Vehicle
Most states’ licensing laws prohibit teenagers from having other teenage passengers in the car with them during their early months of driving solo. Driving with friends can create a dangerous driving environment because novice drivers are focused on their friends rather than the road.
Too many passengers in the truck can make trucker lose focus on the road. To ensure that from happening, limit the number of passengers to travel on the road with you.
5.) Multitask Outside the Vehicle
Everyone spends a lot of time in their vehicles, and it may seem like the perfect time to get little things done like calling family members, searching for good music, and maybe even the occasional text message. Do not do it, and focus on the road and the drivers around you.
Penalties for Truck Drivers Who Drive Distracted:
Drivers can be fined up to $2,750.
Repeat offenses will result in the driver being disqualified, or put out-of-service, for up to 120 days.
The driver’s employer can be fined up to $11,000 if they knowingly allow or require drivers to use hand-held devices while driving.
Violations will negatively affect the employer’s SMS (Safety Measurement System) ratings.
Distracted driving can cost you money, and in the worst of circumstances, your life. It really is not worth it. Let us know what you do to drive safely in the comments below.