My Phone’s Special Place


There was a case recently where a truck driver was involved in a fatal accident. His truck was equipped with an inward facing camera. The camera showed the driver looking at his smart phone for at least 8 seconds prior to the crash. Do a little math. Assuming the vehicle was moving at 60 MPH. That means he was traveling 88 feet per second. In those 8 seconds he would have traveled over 700 feet.


There but by the grace of God go a lot of us. I know that for me, if the cell phone is within reach I have a tendency to pick it up and look at it. Face it. The thing makes a beep and you want to see why. There was a spectacular crash on the Illinois portion of the tri state tollway. A trucker was looking at his cell phone while driving in the right hand lane. The Grand Avenue exit was backed up onto the tollway. Reportedly the trucker was looking at his face book account as he plowed into the stopped traffic. By some miracle, no one died that time.


Smart phones and the instant contact they provide can be addictive. I have to put my phone out of reach. If I don’t I will pick it up and look at it. It is like oatmeal raisin cookies for me. I love me some oatmeal raisin cookies. If they are in the kitchen I will eat them – all of them. If I don’t have them I don’t miss them. Sometimes Rox will do some baking. She knows to not tell me. As long as they are hidden away I am fine. If I know they are there, well I will eat them.


Recently I heard of a driver who had a run in with the law over a cell phone. The officer thought he saw the driver using the phone. The driver insisted that he wasn’t. As the debate ensued, it may have gotten antagonistic and the driver was placed out of service. That beats being at fault in a fatal accident, but an operator out of service isn’t going to look good on your CSA score.


That made me think. I had developed the habit of leaving my phone in the bunk. I imagined being stopped by an officer who thought that I was using a phone. Would having it in the bunk be good enough? It might not be. An officer might say that I tossed it back there. I doubt that it would come to that, but I can be a little paranoid when it comes to protecting my CSA score.


That is when I came up with my solution. My new Cascadia has an outlet under the table in the bunk. It also has a nice little shelf next to one of the seats in my lounge. I plug the phone in and set it on the shelf. Now, it is out of sight, out of mind and fully charged. It is my phone's special place. 

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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