Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as mobile phone use, and smoking. Some of the highest risk distractions while driving are, looking at an object outside the vehicle, entering data on a hand-held device and changing a CD. Company drivers should eliminate distractions from their driving and know how to identify other drivers who may be distracted themselves.
Company drivers can use the following steps to avoid being distracted while driving:
• Get adequate sleep before any trip fatigue can decrease attention and reaction time
• Don’t drink alcohol before driving
• Avoid taking medication that causes drowsiness, before the trip or while driving
• Pre-program radio stations
• Clear the vehicle of unnecessary objects
• Review maps and plan travel routes or program your GPS device in advance
• Fasten seat belts before starting the vehicle
• Adjust all mirrors for best all-around visibility before starting the vehicle
• Avoid smoking, eating, and drinking while driving
• Try to remain relaxed in stressful driving situations
Company drivers can identify other drivers who may be distracted while driving and take measures to insure safety:
• Beware of drivers who are drifting in or out of their lane
• Watch out for drivers who are preoccupied with eating, smoking, or talking on the phone
• Be cautious of drivers who appear to be involved in conversations with their passengers
Remember that the distracted driver may not be aware of the vehicles around them.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and maintain a safe distance.