April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – and as professionals who spend a lot of time on the road, road safety is something you should take seriously! According to the United States Department of Transportation, distracted driving is responsible for thousands of fatal injuries every year. It can happen to anyone – and it’s incredibly easy to become distracted on the road.Sometimes all it takes is a change of driving habits to eliminate common distractions from your daily drive, but for everything else, Adrian Steel has solutions that can reduce or remove dangerous distractions that can happen in your van or truck.
The reality is that distracted driving comes in many forms. While we often hear about texting or using our smartphones on the road, distractions can come from anywhere in your vehicle! The four main types of distracted driving are:
Visual – Anything that takes your eyes off the road and the traffic around you is considered a visual distraction, like looking at your phone, billboards, or back in your cargo area while driving.
Auditory – A noise that takes your focus away from the road ahead is especially common for drivers with vans full of clanging equipment, parts, and tools!
Manual – A manual distraction is when you shift your focus to manipulate something other than your steering wheel, which dramatically reduces your ability to safely control your vehicle.
Cognitive – Daydreaming while driving, thinking about a previous job, or anything that takes the focus in your mind besides driving is considered a cognitive distraction.
It’s easy to see that becoming distracted on the road is easy. With all the different types of distracted driving, it’s likely that most drivers who are comfortable on the road can fall into the trap of putting themselves or others at risk.
Experienced drivers often feel like they’ve seen it all – but the facts behind distracted driving don’t lie. Accidents on the road that injure the driver or others are frequently caused exclusively by distracted driving. Even in cases that aren’t attributed to distracted driving, distractions may often precede the eventual cause of an accident.
In the US alone, distracted driving is responsible for an estimated 2.5 million car accidents involving one or more vehicles. In 2018 alone, distracted driving was responsible for over 400,000 injuries and over 3,100 deaths. Fortunately, the number of distracted driving fatalities has been steadily decreasing over the last few years, but it retains its place as one of the more common causes of accidents on the road.
Safer roads start with you! The easiest way to reduce your risk of an accident is to prevent distractions in your own vehicle. Not only will this fight against accidents you may cause, but it also gives you the alertness to react to other drivers who may be distracted by slowing down or avoiding them on the road.
Here are some ways you can stay alert on the road:
Being a professional that frequently travels, it’s likely that you’ve come to rely on mobile technology for your work. From scheduling to planning your trip to contacting customers, focusing your attention on your device for just 3 seconds is often enough time to cause a crash. It’s best to put away the devices while you are on the road.
Even if you know better than to text and drive, a loose phone sliding off your center console can be enough of a distraction to be dangerous. The Tech Desk by Adrian Steel is a popular solution for technology-savvy drivers. In addition to the non-slip coating that keeps your devices from shifting, it includes several benefits such as ignition-triggered USB ports for easy charging and a locking mechanism for safety. Click the image below to watch a video for more details.
When you travel to and from jobs, your vehicle’s cargo area is likely loaded for every possibility. After all, who knows what you’ll find when you reach the job site! But hasty loading and unsecured cargo can be the source for all 4 types of distracted driving! You may look back at something, lose focus from hearing shifting cargo, reach to grab a sliding object, or you may just worry about something you didn’t quite secure!
Oversized equipment like ladders, when you don’t have proper rack storage, are some of the most notorious sources for distractions. A properly secured ladder can significantly reduce noise in your vehicle. View this short video to find the right ladder rack for you.
The easiest way to combat this type of distraction is to have a place for everything. There’s no one-size-fits-all upfit for contractors in any trade, which is why we develop custom upfit plans that include shelving, bins, ladder racks and other storage solutions for anything you may need!
Auditory distractions are things that good habits alone can’t manage. A noisy cargo area is something that many drivers consider an unavoidable part of life on the road, but the reality is you can prevent cargo noise from disturbing your driving focus!
A composite partition helps reduce noise that makes it to your cabin. Every professional that relies on a van for their job can benefit from a partition. Any partition helps make your cabin safer, but the noise reduction of a composite partition can be life-changing – reducing distractions and even reducing fatigue you may experience from frustrations of a loud vehicle!
Lastly, fatigue is a challenge that every driver faces. Long hours, tough jobs and a physically demanding profession means it’s hard to avoid. When you’re fatigued, your ability to focus is reduced and smaller distractions may be hard to ignore.
While it’s not as easy to eliminate from your career, a proper van upfit can go a long way to reducing fatigue. How? By reducing unnecessary trips! A quality upfit means you can pack more equipment with you to a job, and makes it easier to find. Further, adding accessories as simple as Grab Handles can reduce fatigue of climbing in and out of the vehicle.
By reducing excessive trips to your warehouse or back to the van while at the job, you can increase efficiency and prevent the fatigue of back-and-forth traveling.
Knowledge and expertise to understand your business and create a cargo management solution to meet your business needs.
Speed to respond fast and get you back on the road quickly.
Customer Service to assist you and your business better than anyone in the industry.
Quality distributors and installation experts certified by Adrian Steel to make sure your upfit performs at or above your expectations for the life of your vehicle.
Adrian Steel develops, manufactures, and distributes cargo management and branding solutions for commercial vehicles throughout the USA and Canada. To learn more, visit our website https://www.adriansteel.com/.