Trucker\'s Survival Guide
Distracted Driving: Reaching For One Second Can Kill Distracted Driving: Reaching For One Second Can Kill
We've probably all done it some point - reaching for something next to our seat. We also should all know how quickly traffic ahead... Distracted Driving: Reaching For One Second Can Kill

A Snack Turned Deadly

It’s hard to imagine one bite of a common snack becoming deadly. Recently, that’s exactly what happened on Interstate 70 through the Denver metro area, when a truck driver reached down for a bag of Cheetos on the floor of his cab, taking his eyes away from the road and plowed into another vehicle as traffic ahead came to a stop.

We’ve probably all done it some point – reaching for something next to our seat. And we all know how quickly traffic ahead of us can come to a halt.

As professional drivers, we see the results of accidents like this each week along the highways and cities where we drive. We get held up in traffic jams caused by accidents, often where an innocent life was suddenly ended, all because someone was distracted for even a second.

Most places in North America now have strict rules against driving while using a hand-held electronic device. Many are cracking down just as hard on drivers who apply makeup, read books or maps, or take part in other activities which takes drivers’ concentration from the most important task at hand: driving.

I Learned The Hard Way

A couple years ago, I learned this lesson the hard way while driving my personal vehicle. I was reaching for my phone and traffic ahead abruptly stopped, resulting in my vehicle rear-ending another. I became complacent, ignored what I’d been taught and had taught others for years. One second is all it took!

Preventing Distracted Driving Accidents

A little proactive planning & organizing, along with self-discipline, will prevent this kind of problem. You’d probably agree this is all common-sense stuff, but the number of distracted-driving accidents is growing at an alarming rate!

  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Maintain plenty of room in front of your vehicle!
  • Invest a few bucks in a phone mount and a good wireless headset.
  • Never use your phone for navigation unless it’s mounted in a spot easy to see without taking your eyes off the road.
  • Learn your phone’s voice command features and use voice commands to make calls instead of typing in numbers when driving.
  • NEVER watch movies, browse the internet, social media or read books while driving.

Get organized!

Use an organizer for snacks and such while driving. This can sit either in the passenger seat or floor next to you, keeping things in easy reach and preventing them from spilling or sliding around.

Some drivers use a purpose-made organizer for this, which can be found at Walmart or various automotive parts stores. Or, to save money, try an inexpensive trash bucket, basket, milk crate, or cardboard box, instead.

Long story short – never drive distracted.

See the original news article here: Trucker reaching for Cheetos causes fatal crash

photo: haljacky

About the Author

TSG is the merging of several of my passions. My name is Cole and I love helping folks, writing, driving, safety & a lot more. My background is diverse: having served in law enforcement, transportation safety & management, writing & web development. I've had my CDL since 2006 & have driven as a company driver, as an owner/operator, working various types of both local and over-the-road jobs.