The most important aspect to driving is maintaining attention on operating the vehicle safely. All behaviors, practices, and procedures should focus on driving rather than completing other tasks inside the vehicle. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control categorizes distractions into three main categories: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions include any activity that takes your eyes off the road. Manual distractions include any activity that causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions include anything that takes the mind off of driving.
Prepare all details before driving. Pre-set directions into any navigation system and adjust settings before starting a trip. Familiarize yourself with the route so there is minimal dependence on a navigation system. Check weather conditions prior to planning a trip. Check traffic conditions to see if an alternate route is necessary. Perform a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle to check fluid levels, tire pressures, functionality of lights, mirror adjustments, and vehicle brakes.
Allow sufficient time for drivers to get from location to location. Allocate built-in time for drivers to input information or access information they need to continue their routes. Eliminate time limits that will cause drivers to exercise dangerous behaviors when driving.
The cell phone is a major offender of all three distractions described above. Do not read text messages, emails, or other items while driving. Do not compose a text, email, etc. when driving. There is danger in even using hands-free devices as they may serve as a cognitive distraction. Avoid using your cell phone until you have safely pulled out of traffic and harm’s way. If necessary, keep the cell phone in a location inside the vehicle not easily accessible to the driver.
Enter all necessary information and adjust audio settings before driving away in your vehicle. If information needs to be inputted, pull over to a safe area to input the new information. When re-entering into traffic, be sure to check mirrors and blind spots.
Utah State Law
The following list includes things that cannot be performed while operating a vehicle:
- Writing, sending, or reading a text message
- Writing, sending, or reading electronic mail
- Dialing a phone number
- Accessing the internet
- Viewing or recording a video
- Entering data into a handheld wireless communication device
According to the law, the following functions are permitted when operating the vehicle:
- Using a handheld device for voice communication
- Viewing global position or navigation application
- Using a handheld device during a medical emergency
- Using a handheld device when reporting a safety hazard
- Using a handheld device when reporting a crime
Check your specific state for laws regarding texting and driving.
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.