Let’s face it, driving a big rig is a demanding job. You’re constantly scanning the road, managing blind spots, and dealing with unpredictable weather and traffic. The last thing you need is something pulling your focus away from the wheel.

Distracted driving isn’t just about texting (which is a big no-no, and illegal for CMV drivers). It’s anything that takes your eyes, hands, or mind off the road. Here’s a reality check on common distractions and how to stay sharp behind the wheel:

  • The Phone Zone: We all know it’s tempting to reach for that text or answer a call. But that quick message can turn into a disaster. Solution: Hands-free options are available, but even those can be distracting. Silence your phone or put it on Do Not Disturb while driving. Urgent calls can wait for a safe pull-over.

  • Food Fight: Fiddling with wrappers, balancing a burger, or reaching for a spilled drink – all recipes for taking your eyes off the road. Solution: Plan meal breaks. When hunger hits, find a rest stop and take a proper break to refuel yourself and your rig.

  • Copilot Chatter: A chatty passenger can be a welcome companion, but lively conversation can divert your attention. Solution: Set boundaries. Explain the importance of focused driving and agree on quieter times for conversation.

  • The Scenery Siren: Breathtaking views or rubbernecking accidents can snag your focus. Solution: Admire the landscape during breaks. For accidents, stay focused on the road ahead and avoid slowing down to gawk.

  • Techno Tunes: Blasting music can be a mood booster, but fiddling with knobs or singing along too intensely can be distracting. Solution: Create a playlist beforehand and keep the volume at a safe level where you can still hear road noises.

Remember, the stakes are high. Distracted driving crashes are more likely to be severe, and a conviction can mean hefty fines, license suspension, and a damaged career.

Stay focused, stay safe, and keep yourself and everyone on the road out of harm’s way.

Eliminating distracted driving in commercial trucking