Making the roads safer during distracted driving awareness month

Tom Sellin

By Tom Sellin Director of Business Development at King Solutions

distracted driving awareness monthApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we here at King Solutions are joining other  3PL companies and our supply chain partners to focus on making our roads safer for freight carriers and everyday drivers.

The dangers of distracted driving
There were an estimated 40,100 motor vehicle deaths in 2017, according to the National Safety Council. Although this was a one percent drop from 2016, exerts still worry that the increase in distracted driving will eventually offset the benefits of vehicle safety systems (automatic emergency braking, etc.).

A look at the numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that in 2015, distracted driving led to:

  • 3,477 deaths
  • 391,000 injuries

Despite being against the law in many states, the NHTSA also estimates that up to 660,000 drivers use mobile electronic devices every day, and these numbers can be even higher since distracted driving statistics are hard to track. Police reports often don’t specify whether or not a driver was distracted when an accident occurs, and drivers are even less likely to report themselves for fear of liability and other consequences.

An easy mistake to make
Distracted driving comes in a variety of forms, and any driver can fall into a series of bad habits that take their attention away from the road. A survey by the Office of Traffic Safety found that 29.13 percent of drivers operated vehicles while being distracted. The most common forms of distraction include:

  • Passenger interaction
  • Cell phone handling and conversation
  • Eating and drinking
  • Smoking
  • Reaching for objects
  • Car console interaction
  • Pets
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Grooming
  • Driving an unfamiliar vehicle or route
  • Unsecured cargo
  • Handling electronic devices

How to remain focused on the road
There are many things drivers can do to keep their focus on the road:

  • Pre-planning routes to become more familiar with the roads
  • Putting away cell phones and other electronic devices
  • Using hands free options for phones or pulling off to the side of the road to make a call
  • Properly secure all cargo before travel
  • Avoid complex or emotional conversations
  • Take breaks to stop and eat, drink, and relax
  • Scan the road ahead for potential hazards

Other helpful resources
The National Safety Council (NSC) is offering a few free resources for drivers to take advantage of, including:

  • A 45-minute Distracted Driving Online Course from April 15-21, 2018.
  • A webinar: “Engaging Ways to Address Distracted Driving at Work,” on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Looking for the best way to stay up to date on new resources, industry news and other events? The King’s Scroll is your place to stay in the loop!

 

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