If you’ve driven near a large delivery or freight truck recently, you may have thought to yourself “I really hope the driver sees me” as you pulled up alongside. This is a common reaction because most conventional cars feel tiny compared to the size and weight of modern trucks. Being a professional truck driver requires a sharp eye, a steady hand, and quick reflexes exactly for this reason. The truck drivers at Bay & Bay Transportation in Atlanta, GA know that when it’s time to drive, it’s time to stow the fuzzy rear-view dice and focus.
Keeping focused on the open road can be difficult if you’re driving for long hours, but that focus is crucial if you want to keep yourself and your road mates safe. Distracted driving is already dangerous as a casual commuter, but when it comes to truck driving, it can be disastrous. Learning how to stay clear–minded is a vital skill for truck drivers everywhere.
Common truck driving distractions include phone management (which includes texts, calls, GPS, and email), eating on the go, and making adjustments for comfort while in motion (such as putting on a jacket or reaching for a new CD). All of these driving distractions, while benign seeming at first glance, are incredibly dangerous. Taking your eye off the road for even a second too long can cost you your cargo, your life, or the life of another driver.
The truck driving trick for preventing distracted driving is surprisingly simple: plan ahead. If you often get cold while driving, have a blanket or scarf on hand that doesn’t require extra reaching to put on. Having to struggle with a jacket or sweater is too risky if you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road. And instead of fiddling with the radio or CD player, stick with long pre-made MP3 playlists or audiobooks that will last until the next stop.
For your phone, turn on an automatic message for calls and texts saying that you’re driving and alert any other contacts that you’ll be unavailable via email. The safest way to manage your phone while en–route is to leave it alone entirely. For vital work-related calls, make sure you have all relevant numbers on speed dial before departing. If you need to dial a number, wait until you’re pulled over or stopped.
When planning meals, make sure you pack simple, easy to eat foods that won’t be problematic to eat with one hand. Simple snacks like fruits, thermos soups, and pre-cut sandwiches are easy to prepare and easy to eat. Anything that can spill, drip, or crumble is better left for a rest stop.