It’s not news that distracted driving is dangerous. Distracted driving is anything that takes attention away from driving while driving. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the US. Jurisdictions all across Canada and the US have prohibitions on distracted driving.

When it comes to distracted driving texting is the worst culprit. Law enforcement has zeroed in on the use of handheld devices. Heavy penalties are in place for truck drivers and motorists who are caught using their hand-held device while operating a CMV. Fines of up to $2750 in the US and $1000 in Canada for distracted driving.

According to the FMCSA “recent research shows 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 took 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.”

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Traffic conditions can change in a blink of the eye at highway speeds. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can lead to disaster. We may take driving over the open road for granted. It seems easy and as though we’re not doing much. We are in fact processing a lot of information. Splitting our concentration can lead to a slow reaction or failure to recognizing what’s taking place around us quickly enough to react.

If your involved in an accident, and it’s discovered you were using a hand-held device, you can be criminally charged and you and your company can be held liable in a civil court. But the point is we are trying to avoid accidents. Safety is the priority while we perform our duties. If your driving don’t text and if your texting don’t drive.