With technology advancing so quickly, many people are now able to talk on their cell phones in a hands free, voice activated way. This method sounds like it would be safer for your truckers, right? Wrong. A recent study announced at the Fleet Safety Conference stated that in 2011, about 1.1 million crashes involved cell phone conversations, showing there is no benefit to them being hands-free. How can you help your drivers change their bad habits so they can remain alert and safe on the roads?
The change starts with you, the owner of the trucking company. Show your employees that you vow to not use your cell phone while driving both on the job and in your personal live. It is easier for most people to understand the physical distractions of texting and dialing a number on a cell phone, but the cognitive distractions of a hands free cell phone is a little trickier. Although your eyes remain on the road, that doesn’t mean you are totally focused on what you are doing. Instead, you are multitasking, which could present more dangers to your drivers than you realize.
Most likely, your employees spend hours on the phone during a long drive to help pass the time. But once they are done on the phone, do they ever remember the town they passed through last? When talking on a cell phone, this becomes the primary task and driving becomes the secondary task. Studies have shown that people talking on a cell phone while driving stop scanning their environment in order to identify potential hazards. In this instance, they have ultimately developed tunnel vision.
At Wolpert Insurance, we hope none of your truckers ever get into an accident, especially due to cell phone usage. With our trucking insurance, you can protect your company, but how can you prevent this sort of risk from continuously occurring? While interstate truck drivers and all hazmat commercial drivers are forbidden by law to text or use handheld devices while driving, hands free cell phones remain legal to use. It is your job to help employees understand the danger of being on the phone while driving, so become an advocate for safety. You can also think about using different technologies