Tis The Season For Holiday Distractions!

It is almost that time of year again… HOLIDAY SEASON! With that being said, there will be a lot of people on the highways travelling to and from visiting with loved ones during the upcoming months. As commercial drivers, we strongly encourage you to be exceptionally aware of your surroundings and avoid distracted driving while on the road.

Most of us hear the term “Distracted Driving” and immediately think of cell phones. Although there is a large percentage of accidents that are caused by drivers being on their mobile devices, there are numerous other distractions that may lead to crashes and injuries. When driving down the interstate, it is easy to lose site of the road when coming up to things like police stops, construction, billboards, etc. You may also be tempted to pick up your cell phone, change the radio station or reach into the passenger seat. All the above-mentioned distractions could very easily turn into havoc very quickly if your focus is not on the road in front of you. 

How can you as a commercial driver help prevent distractions on the road? Let’s start with pre-trip inspections. Although these inspections are very important because they are federally mandated, they are also equally as critical when an inspection is the reason someone may have prevented a crash. Making sure the exterior of your truck is ready to hit the road for another long trip down the highway is one of the most important ways to prevent accidents or distractions for yourself and those around you. An additional step you can take to avoid danger on the road, is to check the interior of your truck as well. As commercial drivers, you are responsible for things like checking gauges, shifting through numerous gears, using your ELD or logging systems, etc. These tasks already use a large part of your attention, so it is up to you as the commercial driver to be even more aware of the road while running the truck down that asphalt. This idea is exactly why we strongly encourage to not miss out on those pre-trip inspections and doing a little bit of your own inspecting before hitting the highway.

Another helpful tip to fend off possible dangers on the road involves your well-being as the driver. As the backbone of our supply chains, commercial drivers like you are running long hours for days on end. It is crucial to take breaks, get plenty of rest and keep your mind clear. While there are regulations in place to create break times for commercial drivers, you may at times have to go beyond these few hours to make sure you are ready to keep on truckin’. There may also be times when you catch your mind wandering or getting exhausted as you are moving along. Do not ignore these signs. Pull over, take a breath, and get your mind back on the right track. Often you do not realize your mind and body are over-exerted until you are behind the wheel. Therefore, it is especially important for you as a commercial driver to concentrate on your body and watch for signs of distress or fatigue as you are travelling.

All things considered; we are moving into a busy season for the trucking industry. Take time to prepare your truck, prepare yourself, and watch for signs of distraction as you head down the highway. Although not all accidents are preventable, by making the effort to reduce the number of distractions on the road, you just might be the reason one less incident happens.

If you or your company would like to learn more about the available options for Driver Training related to “Driver Distractions” or any of the other quality online training courses, please contact the NASTC Compliance Dept for further Information.

From the team at NASTC Insurance Services, stay safe and Happy Holidays