Even if you aren’t a die hard fan of the latest game craze, Pokémon GO is something nearly everyone has heard of thanks to the way its players make the news. From hitting police cars to walking off cliffs, players of the game are walking, talking advertisements for what happens when you try to play a game and do anything else, including driving.
Distracted driving, which includes hunting for Pokémon, is dangerous for everyone on the road. Before you pick up your phone to hatch an egg or catch a Jigglypuff, think again.
What is Distracted Driving?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines distracted driving as anything that takes your attention away from operating your truck and watching the road. This includes:
If it requires you to look away from the road, take your hands off the wheel, and give your attention to something other than driving, you’re officially distracted. If you must use your phone while driving, and in today’s world, it’s something many of us do, you need to be able to operate your phone hands-free.
Voice activated dialing, speakerphones, Bluetooth integration and earpieces with microphones are acceptable methods of using a mobile device while driving. The most you should have to do is touch a single button on your phone while driving.
If you are caught hunting for Pokémon, texting, or doing anything else that could distract you while driving, the penalties are steep.
- Drivers could be subject to fines up to $2,750.
- Repeat offenders will be placed out-of-service up to 120 days, depending on the number of violations.
- Employers could be fined up to $11,000.
- The violations will negatively affect the Safety Measurement System (SMS) rating of the employer.
Whatever you do, keep your eyes on the road. Texting can take your attention off the road anywhere from 3.8 to 4.6 seconds. In that time, you could drive more than 300 feet without seeing anything but your phone.
Watch Out for Distracted Drivers
As a truck driver, you have a responsibility to drive safely. When your 53 foot trailer is involved in an accident, no one has a good day. But we all know that the problems usually come from the other drivers on the road. You already knew they were texting, talking, and putting on their make-up while driving. Now it’s time to be prepared for Pokémon-related accidents.
Keep your eyes open for erratic drivers who obviously aren’t paying attention to the road ahead of them. Steer clear as much as you can, and don’t let yourself get distracted. Two distracted drivers are a recipe for disaster.
Our phones are great for staying connected to friends and family, and yes, playing the latest games. None of that has a place in the truck when you’re headed down the road and picking up speed. Don’t let yourself get distracted on the road. It’s not just your life you’ll be saving.