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January 15, 2017

Distracted Driving: Cell Phones, Hamburgers, and Social Media!

A distracted driver A distracted driver

It seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything our days demand of us, which has led us to become a multi-tasking society. There are times when "killing two birds with one stone" is a fine thing to do--for example, using the grocery store pharmacy to fill prescriptions while you get the shopping done, or perhaps getting a flu shot when you're already heading to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Multi-tasking while driving is another issue; it shouldn't be done, and lawmakers are cracking down across the country to reduce (or eliminate) this dangerous behavior.

  • Michigan State Police recently launched a "Get Your Head Out of Your App" campaign to discourage cell phone use while driving.
  • Nationwide, State Police ran a high-visibility campaign in April 2016 called "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." According to Illinois State Police, tough laws, targeted advertising, and visible enforcement are the combination necessary to make a difference in undesired behaviors (such as cell phone use, drinking and driving, and not using seat belts).
  • April is National Distracted Driving Prevention Month, and the National Safety Council has resources available to help educate people about the dangers. On social media, follow the hashtag #TakeBackYourPhone to be a part of the no-distraction movement!
  • You can sign a pledge here that you will join people across the country in doing your part to eradicate distracted driving. Don't become one of the 8 people on average who die daily due to behaviors that have no place behind the wheel of a vehicle.

While it's multi-tasking in general while driving that creates great danger, most people would agree that cell phones have become invaluable tools to help us navigate the roads (or when streamlining inspections with apps such as Whip Around). A few tips for big-rig drivers when it comes to these high-tech helpers include:

  • Check directions or load an address into your navigation app before you pull onto the road.
  • Make phone calls or reply to texts when you're fueling up whenever possible.
  • For those times when phone calls are a necessity, keep the phone hands-free by having a dashboard mount and voice activation (such as Siri on the iPhone).
  • Enable voice activation for opening other apps as well, such as your music.
  • Never, ever use your phone for gaming or watching video content while driving!
  • Check your social media at stopping points only!

For the safety of all involved, just keep in mind that driving should be a focused task and should never be shared with eating, shaving, checking Facebook, or reading the latest bestseller! Keep two eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel, and one brain on your surroundings!

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