According to recent estimates, distracted driving comes with a price tag of around $175 billion a year. Distracted driving is defined as any situation where the driver fails to pay proper attention, such as texting while driving, cell phone use, talking with other passengers, eating or drinking while behind the wheel, or even adjusting mirrors, heating, cooling, and music systems. Driver fatigue also plays a significant part of the picture, particularly for those who drive in a commercial capacity.
Other challenges faced by commercial drivers include the following:
Smart devices — the average commercial rig is equipped with numerous smart devices, and although they’re designed to make the driver’s job easier, they pose serious distractions in their own right. Drivers often struggle to keep their mind and eyes on the road when checking GPS devices, digital maps, and cellphones. Even old-fashioned trucker tools such as CB radios pose potential distractions.
Food and beverage consumption — long haul truck drivers typically live in their trucks while on the
road, and they frequently get food and drinks to go at roadside truck stops in order to keep to increasingly strict schedules.
Tobacco and alcohol consumption — smoking cigarettes while behind the wheel is dangerous on several different levels. Locating, lighting, and extinguishing cigarettes all take attention away from driving. Even if alcohol isn’t being consumed while the driver is behind the wheel, the aftereffects of a night of drinking have been shown to impair judgment and slow reaction times.
Insurance premiums skyrocket while employee morale plunges when distracted driving is too much of a part in a company’s big picture. Fortunately, fleet management and tracking tools are available for the purpose of promoting better behind-the-wheel performance by commercial drivers.