Distracted Driving – It’ll Cost You.
Most of us can’t honestly say we have NEVER texted or looked at a text while driving, even though we know how deadly this practice has been proven to be, but trust me.. Distracted Driving – It’ll cost you! It is always good to refresh our knowledge of why this is a deadly or expensive practice that needs to be put behind us.
Driving Ambition had a good article about the cost of texting and driving.
Posted by Dave Shepley on 7/24/15
Distracted Driving – It’ll Cost You. We get it. As a truck driver you are behind the wheel a lot. With all of today’s modern technologies and conveniences, it’s easy to think you can sneak in a phone call, text message or check of the latest news on the Web. But the risks far outweigh any extra time you think you might save, even checking at a stop light.
What are the Rules?
The FMCSA has published rules specifically prohibiting truck drivers from texting or using hand-held mobile phones. Specifically:
No texting while driving CMV drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. So what qualifies as texting?
Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device. This includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a Web page, or pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile phone or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.
Do not type or read a text message while driving a CMV!
Use of mobile phones is restricted for CMV drivers. This rule restricts a CMV driver from reaching for or holding a mobile phone to conduct a voice communication, as well as dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only operate a hands-free phone located in close proximity. In short, the new DOT rule prohibits unsafely reaching for a device, holding a mobile phone, or pressing multiple buttons.
What are the Risks?
The rule imposes penalties for driver offenses, including civil penalties up to $2,750 and driver disqualification for multiple offenses. Motor carriers are also prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to text or use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and may be subject to civil penalties up to $11,000. Violations will impact SMS results. Texting and calling on a hand-held phone carry the maximum violation severity weighting in SMS!
Besides penalties and possible driver disqualification, recent research shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving than for those who do not. According to The Truckers Report, “in order for a driver to send or receive a text, he or she must take their eyes away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This amount of time is equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour while blind. It has also been determined that the risk for a crash is 23 times greater when text messaging than when the driver is not distracted.” For drivers who dial a mobile phone while driving, the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are six times greater than for those who do not. Why take chances?
How Can You Use a Mobile Phone and Obey the Rules?
Locate the mobile phone so it is operable by the driver while restrained by properly adjusted safety belts.
Utilize an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
Use voice-activated or one-button touch features to initiate, answer, or terminate a call.
Driving Ambition has done a good job of explaining what we can and should do. The bottom line is TEXTING CAN WAIT. It increases the likelihood of an accident by 23%. Think about all the craziness you deal with already on the road every day. Do you really need to increase your chances for an accident?
Respect your life, the lives of others, the law and the statistics. Texting is not something a professional driver ever engages in while operating a commercial motor vehicle or any vehicle. Keep your head and mind focused on driving, do the safe thing and keep your head out of the windshield and the government’s hands out of your pocket. Teach your children not to text and drive, be the example. You will never regret the small sacrifice of not answering or generating a text, especially when are alive to actually talk to your family and friends in person. Hey, and while you’re at it wear that seatbelt, just one more way to prevent devastating injuries or death. All we really want is for you to come home safely every time.
For more information on safe driving please visit our DOT Compliance webpage. We have recently added an affordable Nationally acclaimed online training system for drivers to use on computers, tablets and smart phone. Click here to learn more.