April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month!

What were you thinking? Distracted Driving Awareness MonthWhen drivers are not paying attention they don’t have a chance to react and suddenly they are in an oncoming lane of traffic or they have hit a tree—these crashes are usually very severe. There are even distracted driving statistics about commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation) are 23.2 times greater for CMV drivers who text while driving than for those who do not. Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling the approximate length of a football field — without looking at the roadway! For CMV drivers who dial a mobile phone while driving, the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are six times greater than for those who do not.

Besides CMV drivers can face penalties and possible disqualification if they are found texting or using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The FMCSA rules impose sanctions for driver offenses, including civil penalties up to $2,750 and disqualification for multiple offenses. Motor carriers are also prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to text or use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and may be subject to civil penalties up to $11,000. Violations will impact Safety Measurement System (SMS) results. For more information about texting and mobile phone restrictions for CMV drivers, visit FMCSA Rules & Regulations – Distracted Driving.

This month alerts CMV drivers to the dangers of distracted driving. The National Safety Council offers tips for all drivers on staying safe all month. http://ow.ly/hOYCS