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WV Trucking Assoc. Offers Five Driving Tips for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Charleston, W.Va. (April 8, 2016) – This month, the West Virginia Trucking Association, (WVTA) in partnership with American Trucking Associations (ATA) and their Share The Road highway safety program, is calling attention to Distracted Driving Awareness Month by offering advice and insight from elite professional truck drivers. 

Distracted Driving Awareness month began in 2014 when the U.S. Department of Transportation noticed an uptick in distracted driving and sought to bring awareness to the issue. Now, organizations throughout the country who are committed to improving highway safety, like the WVTA and ATA, recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month as an impactful way to bring attention to this cause, especially among younger drivers. 

“We’ve all seen it and we’ve all probably been guilty of it. Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic that’s plaguing our roadways. The emergence of the cell phone over the past two decades, especially the smartphone, has been the largest contributor to the problem, but there are many other factors pulling a driver’s attention away from the road,” said Ryan Thorn, Public Relations Coordinator for the West Virginia Trucking Association. “We must respect the safety and well-being of not just ourselves, but our fellow drivers. Using a cell phone, eating, trying to read a newspaper, putting on make-up, along with many other distracting actions, must be stopped while behind the wheel.”

Share the Road professional truck drivers have seen many types of distracted driving behaviors while delivering freight across America and are able to provide invaluable insight on safe driving. Instead of giving a list of things not to do, here’s a list of the top five ways drivers can maintain focus and get home safely.  

  1. Out of sight, out of mind. Putting your phone on silent and storing it somewhere that is not visible, but easily accessible, is the best way to avoid temptation. Everyone knows the feeling of seeing a notification and wanting to immediately respond because we all live busy lives, but in order to stay safe and keep other motorists safe, it’s best to keep your phone out of sight. 
  1. Never text and drive. There’s very few driving habits that are worse than texting and driving. Taking your eyes off the road to send a one-word text takes at least five seconds. If you’re going sixty miles per hour on the highway your vehicle travels more than the length of a football field in five seconds. Do not take those five seconds for granted because a lot can happen in that short amount of time – debris can fly into your lane, an animal can run in front of your car, or another driver might change lanes and hit the brakes unexpectedly. 
  1. Be prepared to drive before getting behind the wheel. Eat your breakfast at home. Make that urgent call when you get to work. Make sure you’re fully awake by getting the proper amount of sleep the night before. There are many ways in which we can get sidetracked throughout the day and there are certainly times we have to multitask, but driving is not one of those times.   
  1. Properly secure every item in your vehicle. You don’t want something to fall to the floor and spill while you’re traveling at sixty miles per hour down the highway. Try to suitably secure all items and definitely do not place anything on your lap or near the driver’s side floor. Items can slide under your brake pedal and prevent you from stopping if incorrectly secured. 
  1. Set a good example for young drivers and speak up when uncomfortable. Young drivers who have grown up in the age of tremendous technological advancement may not know the risks involved in distracted driving. Talk to them about why it’s important to focus and why sharing the road with other drivers is a big responsibility. Also, if you’re a passenger in a vehicle and the driver is distracted by an electronic device, say something or offer to type the text and send it yourself. Safety is much more important than avoiding a few minutes of awkward conversation. 

About the Share the Road Program:

Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the road safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc., and Michelin North America Inc., and supported by TA-Petro, Pre-Pass, Hyundai Translead, OmniTracs, SmartDrive, Mack Leasing and Spireon. 

About the West Virginia Trucking Association: 

The West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) was formed in 1932 to bring about an organized and uniform effort within the trucking industry for increased highway safety, as well as public education on the importance and value of commercial vehicle transportation. To that end, the Association has some 260 member companies and is involved in legislative representation, government relations and many highway safety programs.  The WVTA is a statewide, non-profit, association of trucking companies, private fleet operators, industry suppliers, and other firms and individuals interested in the well-being of motor transportation at the local, state and national level.

WVTA Members Receive a 2.7% discount
West Virginia Trucking Association members recieve a 2.7% discount

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