Eating Counts as Distracted Driving

October 6, 2017 8:45 pm Published by Comment

For those of us that spend our time earning money behind the wheel, it often seems like perils of the road is an everyday challenge. Negligent drivers, bad weather, and other hazards on the highway can make things tough. That’s all the more reason to make sure your breaks from driving allow you to reset and safely disengage for a moment or two.

And when it comes to savoring those tasty meals and snacks, this is especially true!

We all love to eat, but that love should be enjoyed while your wheels are at a standstill. Why? Smith Transport pulled some interesting stats—let’s start with these:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates than nearly 3,500 people were killed due to distracted driving – and that’s just counting 2015.
  • The same agency found that driving distracted can increase the likelihood of a crash by 80 percent.
  • Even a brief lapse in focus can be damaging. At 55 miles per hour, four seconds addressing a cheeseburger means traveling the length of a football field – blind!

All experienced truck drivers have horror stories of the weird and wild drivers they’ve encountered on the highway. We are often amazed (and scared) at how non-professional drivers drive as if their minds are elsewhere. But this can lead us to place an unjust premium on our own expertise. Our millions of miles don’t make us any less human, and may even allow over-confidence that can inspire dangerous behavior.
Put down that sandwich. Just because you’re a professional, doesn’t mean you can afford to put yourself and others at risk!

Besides, meals are meant for the pit stop. We do face deadlines and urges to earn those miles, but a break to eat is worth its weight in fish tacos and supreme pizzas. Beyond reserving driving time for driving exclusively, a little break is an important time to allow a mental reset. Fatigue is reduced, focus is increased, and we are all far safer for the effort. It’s also a great time to touch base with friends and family to avoid the temptations of a text or phone call later.

For all of us, let’s keep our dinner on the table and our eyes on the road!

Are you a professional driver looking for great pay and benefits? Enjoy the adventure of being a Smith driver out on the open road. To learn more about joining our elite fleet, visit smithdrivers.com to explore career opportunities and apply. Have questions for our recruiters? We’re standing by! Get in touch at smith-recruiting@smithtransport.com, or give us a call at 866-265-3718.

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