21 Apr Focus: National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
“8 seconds of distraction changed the lives of two families. Robert Bursik would be alive today if a truck driver wasn’t looking at his phone while behind the wheel.”
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
This month’s hallmark is especially important to recognize this year since distracted driving related accidents have risen in the last two years– despite the fact that we’ve been on the road less during the pandemic.
And the consequences of distracted driving are far reaching: Tragically, more than three thousand Americans are killed every year by distracted driving, and the number one killer of teenagers is accident related traffic deaths.
Police call it a tragedy that was 100% avoidable:
The above story details a truck-related accident involving driver Sam Hicks. “Hicks was driving on Highway 36 when he looked down at his phone for eight seconds after receiving a text from his girlfriend at the time, about a house listing on Zillow. Hicks says, ‘“I do pray people learn from my mistake and avoid distracted driving!”’
“Drivers who text were more than 23 times likely to be involved in a safety-critical event than those who do not. CMV drivers dialing mobile phones were 6 times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event.”
The Department of Transportation also recognizes the importance of staying focused on the road and is emphasizing ways to help drivers combat distracted driving. Blue Eagle is sharing Trucking Truth’s roundup of the FMCSA’s guidance on Distracted Driving rules.
FMCSA Distracted Driving Rules For Truckers: Texting
- New FMCSA regulations prohibit texting and hand-held mobile phone use while operating a commercial motor vehicle used in interstate commerce.
- Drivers caught texting or using hand-held mobile phones are subject to fines, disqualifications, and being put out-of-service.
- The FMCSA rules do not apply to devices used for dispatching, as long as they are used as part of the company’s fleet management system and are not being used for texting.We encourage our drivers to exclusively employ hands free calling. Drivers should further know that the FMCSA outlines using a mobile device as:
- Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
- Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button;
- Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.
- And at Blue Eagle we support the FMCSA’s policy that the only time drivers should be using their phones without a hands free device is if they need to contact law enforcement or to make an emergency phone call. If any of our drivers have questions about how to avoid distracted driving or about other ways to safe on the road please feel free to reach out!
Be safe out there drivers!