The main objective of this session is to provide you with information on avoiding distracted driving in commercial motor vehicles (CMV). By the end of the session, you should be able to understand the definition of and different categories of distracted driving; identify and avoid distractions when behind the wheel; understand FMCSA regulations as they pertain to driver distractions; and recognize distracted driving in other vehicles.
Course Duration: 15 minutes
Why “Dangers of Distracted Driving: A Guide for CMVs” Matters:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the arm of the Department of Transportation (DOT) responsible for regulating CMVs and their drivers, points to driver distraction as a contributing factor in 10 percent of accidents involving large trucks.
If you drive a single or combination truck with a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more or a passenger-carrying vehicle that carries 8 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation or 15 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation.
The Risk Factor:
Besides penalties and possible driver disqualification, recent research shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving than for those who do not. Texting drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling the approximate length of a football field — without looking at the roadway! For CMV drivers who dial a mobile phone while driving, the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are six times greater than for those who do not.
There are many different things that can divert attention from driving, both inside and outside the vehicle.
- When distracted, a driver is not focused on operating a CMV, which can lead to accidents.
- Handheld cell phone use, for either texting or voice communications, is not allowed in the FMCSA Regulations.
- If you cause an accident because you are distracted, you are subject to civil and criminal penalties, including prison time.