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How fleet managers can combat distracted driving

According to AAA, distracted driving has now become the single greatest threat on the road. In a survey conducted by the auto association, 88 percent of respondents said that they believe distracted driving is on the rise. Truck drivers and fleet managers in Louisiana will especially want to be aware of the dangers because they work in an industry full of pressures related to the “productivity culture.”

There are visual, manual and cognitive distractions to watch out for. The first two categories are self-explanatory; however, the third can lead drivers to be inattentive even when their eyes are on the road.

Texting, which encompasses all three distraction categories, can take a driver’s eyes off the road for as much as five seconds. The risk for fatigue doubles for drivers who get an average of 5.5 to 6.4 hours of sleep compared to those who get one or two hours more. Even when truckers adhere to HOS rules, they can become drowsy because the quality of their sleep does not match the quantity.

Fleet managers can combat these dangers with policy changes. For example, they could mandate that truckers pull over to eat or take calls. The most important step is to create a safety-oriented workplace culture that leads to behavioral and organizational shifts.

If fleet managers do not commit to a safety-first culture, they only raise the chances that their employees will engage in distracted driving. The victim of a truck accident caused by a distracted or negligent driver may want to consult with a lawyer. After gathering proof of liability, the lawyer could negotiate for a settlement on the victim’s behalf.

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Chip Forstall
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