From my local runs in Los Angeles, California, it seems to me that there is a noticeable increase in my witnessing distracted driving. Driving in a city where everyone seems to be in a rush to do everything, it is quite the gauntlet every day to remain accident free in the daily hustle and bustle of “FaceIntsaSnapTube Bumper Cars”. Being on the lookout for distracted driving and always taking the initiative in spotting it, not only help me to keep my insurance premiums down for my business, but maintain a level of personal safety on the road that keeps me coming home every night in one piece. My wife recently spotted this trailer back door on her way down the main truck route in our city and snapped a picture while stopped behind it. I thought it was a great way to get through to people driving behind him that they may just end up in, or under, the back of that trailer if they don’t put the phone down and drive!
As much attention as being illegal to text and talk on the handset get in the media, it by far overshadows that it is illegal to drive distracted in many other forms as well. Not a day goes by that I am sitting in traffic on my way into L.A. that I don’t spot someone practicing distracted driving in new and interesting ways. One very dangerous way that I have shed light on in other blogs is the practice of drivers, both 4-wheel and 18-wheel, driving with headphones in both ears. I can understand the need to have one in for an important phone call, should Bluetooth not be your thing, but lets get real! Should an emergency vehicle approach from any direction and you not here it, you may have a collision or block the emergency path of them getting to a potentially critical scene.
There are a few other common distracted driving techniques that I witness daily as well. One that boggles my mind is people who read, either e-book or traditional books, while trying to navigate through a sea of traffic on the freeway. Whether tablet e-reader or text on a page, no story or studying is so important that you need to take time away from controlling your vehicle for it!
Being that I don’t wear make-up, I can only imagine how hard it would be to put on while sitting stationary! Being so, it seems that behind the wheel would be the last place I would want to attempt something like this. Vanity mirrors are not made to turn your car or truck into a moving make-up studio, but rather are there to be used while parked and sitting still in a safe spot. No…stoplights do not count as a safe parking spot to use for make-up application in a vanity mirror either!
Be on the lookout for these types of distracted drivers, since they obviously are not looking out for you and your safety. Watch for signs of people drifting in and out of their lanes, going slower than the flow of traffic, or applying brakes constantly with no one in from of them. Sounds a lot like spotting a drunk driver if you were asking me! What a lot of people don’t realize is that these forms of distracted driving can be just as, if not more, dangerous than that of being impaired by alcohol. As drivers in a truck, we have a vantage point to look down and see these things from above. Learn to spot them, stay away from them, and be safer out there in the end for doing so!