From phone calls to eating, distractions increase the likelihood of an accident for drivers, including those behind the wheel as they transport the nation’s pigs. The Transportation Quality Assurance® (TQA®) program encourages truckers to avoid distractions, such as reading, texting or reaching for items on the floor or across the seat.

“Following a one-touch policy to send or receive phone calls or adopting a hands-free policy can reduce distractions,” says the Pork Checkoff’s Sara Crawford. “Texting while driving, which is illegal in some states, in particular poses an increased risk to transporters.”

Texting increases the risk of an accident involving trucks by almost 25 times versus a non-distracted driver.1 Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 mph – of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.1

“Driver fatigue is also a factor in many emergency transport situations,” Crawford said. “Due to weather conditions, plant scheduling, transporter shortages and relocation distances, livestock often is moved late at night or early in the morning.”

While fewer pigs are transported from midnight to 6 a.m., accidents are more likely, as shown on the left.

“It’s time to pull over if you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, drifting over the center line, missing road signs, exits and gears or don’t remember passing landmarks or towns,” Crawford said.

 

1 Hickman, J.S. and R.J. Hanowski. (2012) An assessment of commercial motor vehicle driver distraction using naturalistic driving data.
Traffic Inj. Prev. 13: 612.