At any given daylight moment across the USA, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. The number of people killed in distraction-related crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. This is good news, however, one fatality is one too many. For CDL drivers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prevents drivers from talking on their hand held cell phone while driving their commercial motor vehicle. Drivers should begin their day well prepared for the activities in which they must engaged and only talk on their cell phones when they have stopped their vehicle and are safety off the road.
Dennis Hilton, Safety
General: Truck drivers are subject to a multitude of distractions while driving. In many ways, technology has improved truck safety and efficiency. Systems such as electronic logs, GPS and dispatch can be just as distracting as talking or texting if used while operating one’s vehicle. Distracted drivers who fail to pay attention to 50% of the driving environment this behavior can lead to a serious crash.
1. Did you know:
- Dialing a number is more dangerous than talking on a cell phone, but talking last longer, so both activities are to blame for about the same number of crashes.
- A driver engaged in a phone conversation will remove their eyes from the road for more than half the duration of the call.
- Distracted driving is a key factor in at least 25% of all crashes.
- Glancing away from the roadway for only 2 seconds doubles the risk of a crash.
- Drivers using dispatch devices while driving are nearly 9 times more likely to cause an accident.
2. The following tips should be considered to avoid driving while distracted:
- Finish your calls before beginning to drive.
- Check e-mail and voicemail before starting a trip.
- Obtain directions and review likely routes prior to departure.
- Adjust vehicle controls before driving.
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
- Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
3. Summary: As a professional driver, you are concerned about keeping your CSA score at 0 but did you know that texting and cell phone usage hold a 10 point severity weight. This means from the violation date and for the next 6 months that this violation is worth 30 points. Finally a CDL holder could face a fine of up to $2,750.00 and your company could be fined up to $11,000.00 for talking on a hand held cell phone when behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle. Start your driving day by being distraction free and focus your entire attention to driving and not become an accident statistic.