SmartDrive study quantifies driver distraction for fleets
Jan 1, 2010 12:00 PM
SmartDrive Systems announced results of a large-scale study of commercial fleets to quantify driver distraction and identify the root causes, providing fleet managers with an action plan for improving safety.
According to a recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, key distracted driving behaviors increase the risk of collisions by as much as 23 times. The SmartDrive study investigated more than 50 types of driver distractions and determined that commercial drivers are distracted an average of 8% of active driving time. Through the use of SmartDrive, however, those fleets were able to slash these risks by 50% or more.
The in-vehicle video-based study evaluated video records for distractions that can't be quantified by non-video approaches, such as cell phone usage, texting, use of maps or navigation, eating/drinking/smoking, or any other distraction resulting in drivers taking their eyes off the road for more than two consecutive seconds, or having their hands engaged with something other than driving for more than three consecutive seconds.
This study found that commercial fleet drivers are distracted 8% of total measured driving time, with a range from 1.1% to 19.9%. The study reviewed nearly 6,200 vehicle-years of data across nearly 25,000 drivers from 384 commercial fleets.
There is evidence that fleets can proactively mitigate the risks of driver distraction. As part of this study, SmartDrive continued to measure ongoing improvement for individual drivers over the initial five months after implementation of the SmartDrive Measured Safety Program, which enables fleet managers to proactively coach drivers using video-based data, scored and prioritized by the SmartDrive Expert Review. The results show these reductions in key distractions:
- 54% smoking
- 52% maps or navigation
- 52% mobile phone — handheld
- 51% beverage
- 44% mobile phone — hands-free
- 40% food
- 30% general distraction
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