In the trucking industry, 11,000 accidents across America were caused by distractions happening outside the truck, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The trucking industry has to help prepare drivers for all kinds of distractions. To do that effectively, trucking industry distractions need to be put into certain categories, such as mental, visual and physical.

Mental distractions

Arguably, one of the hardest distractions to avoid as a truck driver is controlling your mind to only think about driving. Instead of thinking about all of the other things going on in your life.

Some of the most common forms of mental distractions are:

  • Daydreaming
  • Talking to a passenger
  • Suffering from fatigue
  • Thinking about personal problems

Visual distractions

It can be tempting to let your eyes wander as you drive down the highway, but don’t let these visual distractions foul you. Looking away for even a second could lead to an accident.

Some of the most common forms of visual distractions are:

  • Billboards
  • Road signs
  • Accidents on the side of the highway.
  • Navigation on a trucker app

Physical distractions

The action of readjusting in your seat or grabbing your water bottle may seem like an easy enough task to do while driving, but it’s really a physical distraction that requires you to concentrate on that action, instead of the road around you.  

The most common physical distractions are:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Changing the radio station
  • Reaching for items in your cab.

How can you prevent these distractions?

The best way for drivers in the trucking industry to prevent mental, visual and physical distractions is to be mindful of the impact they have on you and others on the road.

#1 Spread awareness

According to NHTSA 3,166 people were killed from distracted driving in 2017, that’s why the trucking industry needs to help spread awareness of these distractions and train drivers properly.

#2 Plan out your trip before hand

It’s important to know travel stops on your route. By taking breaks you can give your mind and body time to rest up before you head on your way to the next destination.

#3 Setup technology before driving

Use the time before your trip to set up your trucker apps and make sure they are in a secure location on your dash and never in your hand. In fact, anyone who uses a hand-held device while driving is four times more likely to get into a serious accident.

Stay focused on the task at hand, driving! Save all calls and texts to prevent accidents from happening until you reach the next stop. If a driver is caught texting and driving penalties can result in a code violation and being disqualified for 60 days.

Overall, it is up to truck drivers to use these prevention tips to remain safe, no matter what mental, visual or physical distractions that happen on the road.

TransWood is committed to protecting the health, safety and security of our employees and independent contractors while minimizing the impact of our operations on the public and the environment where we operate. Please, contact TransWood so we can start serving your hauling freight needs.

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