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During your commercial drivers license training in Portland, safety is an important topic. Once you graduate and begin to pursue truck driver jobs, safety while on the road becomes one of your utmost goals. Distracted driving is a serious concern for truck drivers today—with numerous distractions in the cab, it can be easy to lose track of the conditions around you, putting you at risk for an accident. Learning how to avoid distracted driving is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and others throughout your trucking career.

Reduce Mental Distractions

While it’s important to minimize physical distractions during trucking jobs, it’s also essential to keep your mind focused on the road and the conditions around you. Taking your mind off the road can be just as dangerous as looking away from the path ahead, as lapses in attention are cited in up to 90% of auto accidents and 65% of near-accidents. Even interacting with a hands-free phone system is a significant mental distraction that many truckers face in today’s CDL jobs. It’s important to keep in mind that using a hands-free cellphone is no less distracting than holding a phone; whenever possible, pull over or wait until you have made a stop to talk on the phone.

Plan Your Routes

Getting lost is also a significant distraction while driving. In many cases, drivers who are lost fail to notice or obey speed limits, spend time looking at maps or GPS readouts rather than the road, and are more likely to disregard hazardous road conditions in an attempt to find their way. Prior to embarking on any trucking jobs, first take the time to map out and plan your route. Program your GPS system or print out directions ahead of time, which can help you avoid getting lost and keep your focus on the road at all times. If you do become lost, pull over to determine your location and how best to get back on track, rather than trying to actively find your way from behind the wheel.