April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and as an OTR truck driver, it’s crucial to prioritize safety on the road. Distracted driving is a significant risk that can result in accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. At Cooper Freight, we value the safety of our drivers and want to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. In this blog post, we will share important statistics, tips, and insights to help OTR truck drivers stay focused and safe while driving.
Disturbing Statistics on Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a prevalent issue on the roads, and the statistics are alarming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- In 2019, there were 3,142 deaths and an estimated 424,000 injuries in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States.
- The age group with the highest percentage of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes was the 20-29 age group.
- Texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times.
- On average, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, which, at 55 mph, is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
These statistics highlight the serious consequences of distracted driving and the need for OTR truck drivers to stay vigilant and focused while on the road.
Tips for Staying Focused and Safe on the Road
Here are some essential tips for OTR truck drivers to avoid distracted driving and stay safe on the road:
Put Your Phone Away: Avoid using your phone for calls, texting, or browsing while driving. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location and park your truck.
Use Hands-Free Devices: If you need to make a call while driving, use a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth earpiece or speakerphone. However, even with hands-free devices, it’s best to limit phone use and prioritize driving.
Avoid Multitasking: Eating, drinking, grooming, or other activities can also be distracting while driving. Focus solely on driving and avoid multitasking to minimize distractions.
Plan Ahead: Make sure to plan your route, adjust your GPS or navigation system before hitting the road, and avoid making changes while driving.
Take Breaks: Fatigue can also contribute to distracted driving. Take regular breaks to rest and refresh yourself, and never drive when you’re feeling tired or drowsy.
Use Passenger Assistance: If you have a passenger, enlist their help for tasks such as navigation, answering calls, or changing music, so you can stay focused on the road.
Lead by Example: As a professional driver, you are a role model for others on the road. Set a positive example by avoiding all forms of distracted driving and promoting safe driving practices among your peers.
Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that can have serious consequences on the road. As an OTR truck driver, it’s your responsibility to prioritize safety and stay focused while driving. Avoid all distractions, including phone use, multitasking, and fatigue, and be a role model for safe driving. Let’s work together to raise awareness and make our roads safer for everyone during Distracted Driver Awareness Month and beyond.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2021). Distracted Driving: Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving
National Safety Council. (2021). Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org