Driving is a task that is done almost every day… daily commutes, personal errands, overnight road trips, running out to grab a bite to eat, vacations, driving between work sites or even driving as requirement of your job, it all adds up to a lot of time on the road.
Whether you are driving a personal car or truck or a fleet vehicle, a forklift in the warehouse, a riding lawn mower, a dump truck at the construction site or you are a long-haul trucker… if you are behind the wheel, driving any vehicle requires your full attention.
Drivers should always be fully aware of their surroundings and avoid all distractions, including handling a cell phone.
Texting while driving, or doing any task on a cell phone that takes your eyes off the road, has the potential to be deadly. Thousands of lives are lost every year because of driver cell phone distractions, like texting.
Texting While Driving can be more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol!
Don’t text and drive!
If you are driving 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for just five seconds, you will have traveled almost 100 yards (the length of a football field!) without watching what was going on around you.
If you are a passenger in a vehicle and the driver is using their phone while they are driving, speak up and ask them to put their cell phone down and handle it later.
On the job there are enough things to be aware of including equipment, materials, and other employees. Ensure both hands are on the steering wheel and your mobile device is out of reach. ALWAYS stay fully aware of your surroundings.
Your safety matters and any time you feel unsafe in a work environment, you have the right to speak up and report unsafe conditions.
Make all calls or texts before you begin your drive. For longer drives, inform your co-workers, family, and friends that you will be driving and that you will not text and drive. Check your emails, text messages and voicemails the next time you stop for gas or when you get to your destination.
Texting can wait! Use automatic responses to alert those that may be texting you that you are driving.
Hands-Free is not Risk-Free. Drivers looking out the windshield can miss seeing up to 50% of what’s around them when using the hands-free functionality with their cell phone.
Drivers can take many preventative measures to ensure they remain distraction-free and avoid texting while driving in vehicles.
Arrive safely to each location you are driving to by following these tips:
- When you get in any vehicle, get into the habit of turning off your cell phone or at least set it to airplane, do not disturb or silent mode.
- Place your mobile device out of reach, out of view or face down. You can put your cell phone in the glove compartment or in the console of the vehicle if you have a habit of picking up your phone during a drive.
- If you must keep your device in sight, use a mobile device holder. Keep the device around eye level and in a stationary position to avoid it from sliding around.
- If you must use your device for texting, pull your vehicle over in a safe location to text your message and complete your communications.
Texting while driving a vehicle is against the law in 48 states as well as the US Virgin Islands, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Familiarize yourself with local and state laws that may be in place regarding mobile devices and texting while driving.
When driving is a work requirement, understand your employer’s rules and also the consequences regarding texting while driving.
If you are caught texting and driving, you could face expensive fines or have your driver’s license suspended.
You, as a driver, cannot control the actions of other drivers, pedestrians or objects on the roadway. If you are distracted by texting it leaves no room for reacting to the hazards outside the vehicle or mishaps caused by other drivers.
Texting while driving can be deadly and it’s not worth the risk!