How many times a day are we bombarded with various types of distractions? We are constantly being fed information by social media, news, radio, email, phone calls, text messages, people we know, people we don’t know, and countless other diversions. When we are participating in an activity that does not require us to be hyper sensitive to safety, these distractions can be fun and exciting. On the other hand, when we are behind the wheel of a semi-truck, distractions are dangerous and must be avoided! In order to avoid these dangers, commercial drivers need to be experts at learning how to control these temptations and limit their distractions while they are on duty or behind the wheel.
When one thinks of distractions, there seems to be an instant image of someone texting or looking at a cell phone while driving. However, there are many external and internal distractions we might not actually recognize as being a distraction. Getting rid of as many distractions as possible is the best way to make sure you stay focused while driving in order to prevent life changing accidents from occurring.
External distractions are easy to identify. Any type of surrounding that can take your mind off the primary focus of driving, such as cell phones, radio, billboards, and even other reckless drivers can be classified as external distractions. The not so easily identifiable distractions are: a car that catches your attention, a beautiful home, surrounding scenery, or your own deep thoughts.
One of the most common and most dangerous distractions drivers face is the rubbernecking that occurs from other drivers abruptly slowing down to take a look at the carnage of an accident. Drivers should use caution when approaching traffic that is visibly slower, even if brake lights have not started to appear. In a situation such as this, the combination of numerous drivers slamming on brakes and taking their eyes off the road is a recipe for disaster, and often times causes even more accidents to occur. Be sure to keep your focus on the road, your surroundings and the possibilities that may lie ahead.
Along with the more obvious external distractions, there are many internal distractions that can play a role in distracted driving. Some examples of internal distractions can include a recent argument with a family member, not getting enough sleep, your stomach not sitting well, thinking about a past mistake, and your concerns about getting the load delivered on time. These are just a few examples that can divert your focus on the task at hand. Remember, safety and keeping the right focus should be your first priority in every event, at every minute, on every trip.
Truck driving will always be unpredictable and odds are you will not be able to eliminate all your external and internal distractions. Attempting to eliminate as many of these distractions as possible is the best way to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. Remember, you own your distractions, they can cost you your career, your life, or the lives of others. So, make the correct choice, DISPOSE OF THE DISTRACTIONS!
*For more safety tips feel free to call Continental Express’ Safety Department at 800-497-2100.
* If you are interested in driving opportunities with Continental Express, call to speak with a Recruiter at 800-497-2100.