Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle collisions and near collisions. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80% of collisions and 65% of near collisions involve some form of driver distraction. In most instances, the distraction occurred within 3 seconds before the vehicle crash.
Unfortunately, on a typical day, more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes. That’s why it’s important to keep distracted driving front of mind. While the National Safety Council (NSC) postponed its Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we strongly encourage safe, mindful driving at all times.
Driving is a skill that requires full attention to safely control a vehicle and respond to events happening on the road – involving constant and complex coordination between mind and body. Events or things that prevent a driver from operating their vehicle safely are distractions.
But, did you know there are three types of distractions?
- Manual distractions are those where you move your hands from the wheel.
- Visual distractions are those where you focus your eyes away from the road.
- A cognitive distraction is when your mind wanders away from the task of driving.
Texting involves all three types of distraction. As for cell phone use …
- People are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%. University of Utah
- Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. University of Utah
- Text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times. Virginia Technical Transportation Institute,USDOT
- Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph NHTSA
Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it “unacceptable” that drivers text or send email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or e-mail while driving in the previous month. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Distractions don’t have to happen in your fleet.
Using computer vision-based algorithms and a purpose-built sensor, SmartSense™ for Inattentive Driving (SSID) is the latest technology from SmartDrive to help you ensure a safer fleet. By identifying and eliminating the most dangerous risks in your fleet — texting, drowsiness, inattentive driving and eyes off the road – SSID prevents inattention before it becomes a collision by:
- Immediately alerting your driver at the high-risk moment.
- Offloading video for review so you can coach and avoid this behavior in the future.
With advanced technology, you have immediate access to the data you need to coach distracted driving out of your fleet.
While Distracted Driving Awareness Month is postponed – this is still an opportunity to raise awareness of this issue and commit to keeping our roads safer.
For more information on how SmartDrive can help protect your fleet, contact us today.