The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual “Operation Safe Driver Week” begins this week of October 15-21, 2017.
The goal is to improve the driving behavior of all drivers – whether operating a commercial or passenger vehicle. As always, avoid the following dangerous driving behaviors: speeding, distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seat belt, traveling too closely, improper lane changes and failure to obey traffic lights.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), unsafe driving continues to be the leading cause of crashes: 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes are due to the kind of dangerous driving behaviors targeted during Operation Safe Driver Week.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes your attention away from the road and can endanger the driver, as well as the motoring public.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the three main types of distractions while driving are visual, manual and cognitive distractions. Visual distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. Manual distractions make driver’s take their hands off of the wheel. Cognitive distractions, like listening to the radio or talking on a phone, cause drivers to take their minds off of the task of driving.
Every time an owner operator’s focus is not on the road ahead, lives may be put in danger according to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA.) The FMCSA considers distracted driving a deadly epidemic on the nation’s roads. Research from the FMCSA shows in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
Here are six tips from the FMCSA to commercial drivers or independent owner operators on ways to reduce distractions on the road:
- Don’t let outside objects be a distraction, stay focused on driving the truck. Anything that takes eyes away from the road can be a dangerous distraction.
- Never text while driving, it is illegal and one of the most dangerous distractions to any driver.
- Do not use a dispatching device while driving, mobile and portable dispatching devices cause drivers to take their eyes off the road.
- Do not dial a handheld phone while driving. Consider using a voice-activated or hands-free phone app that does not require drivers to take their hands off the wheel while driving.
- Do not read, write or use paper maps while driving.
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
Join the Safety Thursday Conference Call November 17, 2016 at 12 p.m. ET. Dial 877-717-5921.