In many cases, technology has made trucking easier, but in others it has made it more distracting, said a panel discussion at the American Trucking Associations’ annual Technology & Maintenance Council‘s fall meeting this week.
Mark Warsofsky, M&M Transport Services; Robert Sellers, Reliable Carriers; John Erwin, Saddle Creek Transportation; and Claude Masters, Florida Power & Light, each detailed how they combat distracted drivers and technicians.
“Cell phones in the shop are a safety issue,” Sellers says. “We don’t allow it.”
State laws most often take care of cell phone use by drivers. Simply put, it’s against the law to use a non hands-free device while the vehicle is in motion.
“I was a little bit ahead of the curve because I mandated it through the company that the drivers had to be hands free,” Warsofsky says of beating federal mandates to the punch. “That first year, I think we lost five drivers (terminated for cell phone use).
“For the most part, we haven’t had too much of an issue.”
Masters says much of his company’s work-related communication is done through a two-way radio, and driver’s shouldn’t be doing those communications while they are on the road.
That communication, too, is evolving. Now, much communication takes place over computer.
Masters also expressed a concern that as driver technologies continue to evolve, more things are put in front of the driver to look at, which could cause trends in accident avoidance to remain flat.