In New York State, distracted driving laws encompass a wide range of behaviors, including texting, talking on a handheld phone and even eating while driving.
Penalties for violating these laws come with severity, including fines and potential license suspensions. Moreover, accidents resulting from distracted driving can have devastating consequences, making it especially important for truck drivers to develop habits to stay focused on the road.
1. Use hands-free devices
One of the most effective ways to minimize distractions is by using hands-free devices for communication. Truckers can invest in Bluetooth headsets or speakerphones to answer calls without taking their hands off the wheel. This ensures that their full attention remains on the road ahead.
2. Plan stops wisely
Long-haul truckers often spend hours behind the wheel. To avoid the temptation of using their smartphones or other distractions, planning stops strategically is important. Taking regular breaks not only helps with fatigue but also provides designated times for checking messages or making calls.
3. Secure cargo properly
Ensuring the proper securement of cargo is not only a legal requirement but also a safety measure. When cargo shifts or becomes unstable during transit, truckers may want to adjust it while driving. Properly securing cargo beforehand reduces this risk, allowing drivers to maintain their focus on the road.
4. Limit in-cab activities
Inside the cab, truckers should minimize in-cab activities that can divert their attention from driving. This includes eating, grooming or fiddling with the radio or GPS system while the vehicle is in motion. Creating a dedicated space for these activities during stops can help maintain concentration while driving.
Distracted driving contributed to 3,522 deaths in 2021, and all of those incidents had far-reaching consequences for everyone involved. Staying focused on the task ahead can help truckers save lives and their jobs.