As a truck driver or pilot car driver, you spend many hours on the road driving through different cities and states. I’m sure you can tell endless stories about distracted drivers, and hopefully no one got hurt. No matter the cause, distracted driving leads to accidents and sometimes death. In 2014, over 3000 people were killed and 431,000 were injured as a result of an accident with a distracted driver.
How Many Times a Day do You see a Distracted Driver?
In recent years, texting has become an increasing safety threat for drivers. When someone texts, their eyes are not on the road for an average of 5 seconds. In that short amount of time at 55mph, the vehicle can go the length of a football field. While most people think of texting, a driver can also be distracted by other activities such as:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking with passengers
- Reading (newspaper, books, maps)
- Using GPS system
- Watching a movie
- Changing stations on the radio or skipping to the next song on your iTunes
As a truck driver or a pilot car driver, these activities put you at risk and your load at risk. Please don’t be a distracted driver and be very careful around other distracted drivers. You’re on the road for many hours, days and years and put in endless miles, so you know what to look for and how to steer clear of these drivers.
Especially with oversized loads, you can’t maneuver as easily, so if a distracted driver is encountered, the effects could be devastating. Here are some tips from the insurance industry to avoid distracted driving, so you can avoid an accident and not become a statistic.
- Reduce the distractions by avoiding eating, smoking, playing with the radio, talking with passengers or grooming while driving.
- No texting while you’re driving.
- Get enough sleep the night before a drive. Drink coffee or a soda for caffeine, and if drowsy, pull over.
- Review the route before you head out. A lot of people use GPS while driving, but set it up before you start driving.
- Be aware of other drivers around you. Avoid drivers who are speeding, driving erratically or appear to be texting.
- Keep enough space between you and the car in front, so you have plenty of time to respond.
- Consider turning off the radio and have some quiet time to enjoy your drive.
We know that getting to your destination safely and on time are the most important factors for you as a truck driver. If you’re driving an over dimensional load, work with your pilot car to determine routes, potential hazards and how you will communicate during the trip. Working together will help you avoid distracted drivers and help you deliver your load safely to its final destination.
Integrity Pilot Cars supplies pilot cars, overload permits and escorts for oversize loads including superloads, wide loads, High-poles and long loads. We have locations in Virginia Beach and Stuart, Virginia, and are licensed for nationwide loads. Integrity Pilot Cars can provide same day local city permits for all Hampton Roads Cities including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and Suffolk.
Call Integrity Pilot Cars for your oversize load needs (757) 618-4899.
Sources: easterninsurance.com, distraction.gov, farmers.com
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by bigjom (cars), nenetus (texting) and punsayaporn (coffee)