The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) has announced a year-long effort to provide information and training to its members and their drivers to improve road safety. The “Keep Both Hands on the Wheel” campaign will focus on reducing distracted driving by engaging truckers, their employers, contractors, and the public to follow safe driving habits.
“Keep Both Hands on the Wheel” will encourage drivers to avoid activities that take their hands off the wheel and divert their attention. The campaign will feature web-based programs and in-person training for member companies and drivers. MTA also will provide members, truckers, and the general public with tips to stay alert, such as:
- Understand and follow current Minnesota law, including the ban on texting.
- Avoid using a hand-held mobile device while driving. When a mobile phone is necessary, use hands-free technology or stop at a safe place to complete the call.
- Minimize eating and drinking while driving. Breaks for food and liquid while driving keep drivers focused during longer hauls.
- Avoid fixating on non-driving objects. This includes outside objects such as billboards or buildings, and in-vehicle distractions such as paperwork or adjusting the radio.
Data published by DPS recorded 287 fewer truck-related crashes in 2008 compared with 2007. Additionally, fatalities involving large trucks dropped 17.8% in 2008. Meanwhile, mileage logged by trucks over the two decades has increased 70% as commercial trucking remains a critical link for Minnesota’s local economies.