April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Did you notice? In a world where multitasking is essentially expected, with an abundance of technological toys at our fingertips, it’s a wonder anybody can focus on the wheel and the road.
That failure to focus has become quite a liability. According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways last year. Distracted driving has been deemed a big contributor.
For truckers, the need to stay safe on the highway is a major priority. But when April rolls around that priority gets a push. This is the month to pay extra attention to safety, writes Fleetowner.com. For those trucking companies that don’t already have a written manual on safe driving practices, this is the month to create one. Make sure to mention policies on cell phone usage, speeding, seat belt use, and following distances.
Check These Tips for Safe Trucking
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a cool checklist that covers three areas of safety concentration – visual, manual, and cognitive. Avoid jeopardizing your safety and that of fellow drivers with these tips.
• Visual – Keep your eyes on the road, pull over to read directions, and have your phone on “do not disturb” mode.
• Manual – Keep your phone out of reach, adjust before driving, and don’t reach for items while driving.
• Cognitive – Avoid all phone calls, focus on the road, and keep your emotions under control.
Those are all great tips to avoid distracted driving. We have a few more for you.
• Take your time – It’s important that your load arrives on time, but don’t exceed speed limits or drive recklessly to make a deadline.
• Check your truck – How’s your rig? Maintenance is huge – tires, brakes, fluids, and electrical. Make sure everything’s tip-top before you crank up.
• Check yourself – Did you get enough sleep? Did you eat right? How’s your mood? Believe it or not, all that plays a part in your health and wellbeing behind the wheel.
• Buckle up – Make sure those seat belts are fastened, clear your head, put your phone away, stay calm, and roll along.
Driving Music: Help or Hindrance?
These are all obvious. But before we let you take that haul to its destination, let’s talk about music. There is some debate as to whether music is an enhancement or a distraction to driving. Sure, if you keep changing songs on the radio or if you frequently fiddle with your iPod, you will be distracted. That makes sense.
But let’s say you keep the tunes on continuously without any kind of adjustments. They are in the background. If then, what kind of music would help instead of hinder driving? According to researchers at London Metropolitan University, music that mimics resting human heartbeat (60-80 beats per minute) is best to listen to while driving. By contrast, aggressive and fast-paced music – heavy metal, hard rock, hip-hop – is recognized as a cause for faster, more distracted driving. That’s precisely when drivers paid more attention to the music than the road.
Good rules to drive by. And remember, even though April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, truckers should be safe behind the wheel from January to December.
Ready to take your safe truck driving record to the next level? Become an Apex freight factoring client and let us help your business grow. Visit our website or simply give us a call at 855-369-2739.