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Keeping truck drivers distraction-free

Many truck drivers in Alaska may think that distracted driving refers only to cellphone use behind the wheel. However, distracted driving includes many different behaviors and it is important for truckers to understand this so they can be safe on the highway.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, changing the radio station, eating and programming a navigation system are all forms of distracted driving. This is because these actions can remove a driver's attention from the road, raising his or her chance of being involved in a collision. Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Truck drivers who read or send a text message can typically drive at least the length of a football field in the five seconds their eyes are off the road.

It is important for professional drivers to make sure they are not distracted on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that one of the simplest things truck drivers can do is keep their cellphones out of their hands. Some truckers may want to use a voice-activation app so they can keep both hands on the wheel if they need to make a call while driving. They should also make sure they pull over if they need to send an urgent text message. Some truck drivers may not realize that their dispatching device can be as distracting as a cellphone. If truckers need to respond to a message from their dispatcher, it is a good idea to pull over.

Sometimes truckers look away from the road when they read a paper map or reprogram their GPS. If truck drivers need to change their route, they should usually pull over before they get out their map or enter new information into a GPS. Some people may want to use a voice-activated GPS so their maps do not become a distraction.


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