Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Do You Know the Risks?

Apr 18, 2018

It involves all of us. It happens daily. It contributes to thousands of deaths each year. It’s 100 percent preventable. It’s distracted driving. We’ve all heard about it, definitely witnessed it, and maybe even participated in it. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, daydreaming, navigating the GPS, or even trying to find your favorite song—distracted driving comes in many forms. Technology and vehicle comforts are great, but they do not pair well with trying to multitask, especially when you’re doing something as important—and dangerous—as driving.

It’s likely that no other industry experiences the constant work environment distractions more than commercial transportation. Unfortunately, driver distractions have joined alcohol and speeding as leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes. According to a study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is estimated that distractions are a contributing factor in eight out of every 10 accidents, and nearly seven out of 10 near misses each year. 

Do you know the risks? Distracted driving can lead to a variety of consequences, including:

  1. Failure to recognize potential hazards

  2. Slower reaction time

  3. Missed traffic signals, signs, and exits

  4. More traffic violations

  5. Increased risks of collisions, injuries, and even death

April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month to raise awareness of these dangers and consequences. At Ruan, Safety Focus is our first Guiding Principle; the safety of our team members and the motoring public comes first. We focus on reducing distracted driving all year—not just in April. 

Below are our key tips for reducing distractions:

  • Do not use mobile phones for texting or calling while driving. It is against Ruan policy and illegal in some states to do one or both. Place your phone out of reach to avoid the temptation.

  • Avoid multitasking, such as eating, reading a map, or other tasks that take your attention away from driving. Stop for lunch breaks, and make sure you know your route before embarking on your trip. Quick Fact! Did you know that the ability to multitask is actually a myth? Human brains cannot perform two tasks at the same time. Our brains really take on one task at a time and switch back and forth between tasks very quickly.

  • Avoid looking at irrelevant objects, such as businesses or buildings, as they take away from the constantly changing information that you need to process.