The Cost of Distracted Driving

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by Jeff, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Highly Trained Staff

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    Hi, my name is Wayne Rugenstein. For the past 20 years it has been my job to drive. Driving is something that I have always enjoyed, probably way back to when I was 15 years old and I got my permit and a 1965 Mustang.
    The Mustang was something I had obsessed over for a few years, especially the early ones. My Dad and I worked on the Mustang to make sure it functioned as it should. Not only did I think they were just cool, but after getting my license it also represented freedom.
    Part of that freedom was driving myself and some friends to school. On a sunny March day, I was showing off the new stereo that my Dad and I put in. What I had failed to notice was that traffic had stopped in front of me and I was about 40 feet from a stationary vehicle and I was going almost 30 miles per hour.
    I hit a 1977 Chrysler Cordoba, a monster of a vehicle that I barely scratched with the front of my Mustang. I had been wearing my seat belt, as were my passengers, but they were lap belts only. I struck the steering wheel with my face and remembered seeing lots of blood.
    Luckily my injuries were minor and my passengers and the other driver were ok as well. It was a blessing that this accident was literally in front of a fire station. Unfortunately, my Mustang had taken the brunt of the collision and just about everything on the front of it needed replaced.
    As I look back on this now after nearly 30 years has passed, I recognize that I was very lucky that no one was seriously hurt. I had made a substantial error, but lived to learn from it.
    As a professional driver with over 2 million safe miles, I see distracted drivers every day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2014 there were 3,179 fatalities and 431,000 injuries caused by distracted driving. Many causes of distracted driving include using smart phones, watching movies, reading, and yes, even adjusting a radio.
    I see my job differently today than I used to. The commercial vehicle I drive for my employer is filled with freight that our customers trust will be delivered on time, intact and damage free. I also must recognize the symptoms of distracted drivers and drive sort of like a sponge, soaking up the mistakes or poor decisions of those drivers to ensure that I do not add to those NHTSA numbers.
    My hope is that you will do the same with me to “Put the Brakes on Fatalities.” The loss of a life or an injury due to distracted driving is a cost that is too high to pay for reading that text message or searching for your favorite song.

    Wayne Rugenstein is a Kansas Road Team Member and also a driver for FedEx.
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  2. mud

    mud Wonderin' AD-FREE USER

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    Distracted driving recently cost me $95.00. 45mph in a 30mph stretch of road. What was bad, I know this speed zone well, and how closely it is watched. Nothing wakes me up better than having to spend money needlessly.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
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  3. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had a few speeding tickets in my 66 years of driving.
    Most when I was younger,however the last one was when I drove for Overnite.

    I finally woke up & thought what a giant hassle,not only the fine,but court,unless you send it in.
    Also the time on the side of the road getting the ticket.
    Think about it,first you get pulled over,the cop takes his time walking up to your door,asks for your license,& log.
    Takes his sweet time walking back to his vehicle,calls your information in to see if you have any outstanding offenses.
    Writes the ticket,walks back to you to hand it over & sometimes gives you a lecture of why you shouldn't speed.

    Just that process,taking up so much time,if you were traveling under the speed limit,you'd have been really far ahead.
    So the bottom line,not just that your going to be lighter in the wallet,but the time your going to waste on the side of the road.
    No way is speeding worth it.
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  4. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LOST

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    in my total years (43) of being a licensed driver, i never got a speeding ticket, but came real close twice.

    these 2 times, i WAS a CDL driver, but i was in my car or pick up truck, and the cops took my apology for speeding, and i should have known better, as sincere and let me go.

    funny too, as they both had me on radar.

    about 45 in a 25, with my then brand new T-Bird, only 2 days actually took a lot of time, looking over the

    and about 35 in a 25, going to my old CDL school, for an appointment for a driving job..!!

    now if i could only be as lucky, playing the Power Ball.....
  5. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Well-Known Member

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    Distracted Driving can as well be seen as "looking in your mirrors every 8-10 seconds". I look in me mirrors as I need, not consistently and I haven't drifted into any vehicle or solid object nor run any vehicle, including mine, off a road.

    A LONG LIST of distractions can be presented.
    DISTRACTIONS while I drive a car or c.m.v.: drinking coffee & water, smoking cigarettes, adjusting mirrors, adjusting seat, adjusting radio stations, playing c.d.'s., eating corn chips, taking notes, looking at scenery, driving into sunrise and sunset. That's MY list. Yours is YOURS.

    I've only received 1 speeding ticket in a C.M.V. (Gallipolis, Ohio--mailed in small "fine") and only ONE in a car ([Jamestown, NC] which, with the directive of a Traffic Attorney, was reduced to improper equipment) since upgrading my Class C to a Class A License in late 1998.

    The only times I speed are Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, TN. (55 for Trucks, so 60+).
  6. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Well-Known Member

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    "The FUTURE of Trucking is not driverless trucks, but Trucks Driven by Common Sense Drivers" which, sadly appear on the decline and proven through these seemingly hilarious and not funny Articles:

    CDL-B, B=Braindead.
    Doesn't Care
    Unknown cause (might have been distracted driving)

    Nothing harmful below (until after production then will arrive the structural integrity tests, a.k.a., wrecks), just seems of little use.
    UselesS Xpress

  7. 20_yrs_2_go

    20_yrs_2_go So we got that going for us, Wich is nice

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    Distracted driving is a problem just like DUI there is a limit and not a zero tolerance. However I'm noticing some carriers installing cameras that face the sleeper and driver.
    It's a step or 2 over the line,either you trust the driver or you don't ?

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