Study Reveals Fleet Drivers Distracted 8% of Driving Time

Aug 31, 2009

According to a recent study by SmartDrive Systems, a leader in fleet safety and efficiency, commercial fleet drivers are distracted an average of 8% of total measured driving time, with a range of 1.1% to 19.9%.  The study reviewed almost 6,200 vehicle-years of data across nearly 25,000 drivers picked from 384 commercial fleets.

.

 

he study, which was conducted mainly by in-vehicle video monitoring, recorded distractions that cannot be quantified by traditional approaches, such as using a cell phone, using maps, eating/drinking, smoking, or any other distraction that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds or have their hands engaged with something besides driving for more than three seconds. The study identified more than 50 types of driver distractions.
The study also allowed fleets to proactively prevent these distractions.  SmartDrive kept ongoing improvement records for individual drivers during the course of the study, which enabled fleet managers to review video footage of their drivers and coach them on proper practices, scored and prioritized by the SmartDrive Expert Review.  Drivers reduced distracting behavior by a significant percentage with this mitigating strategy:
-54 percent: smoking
-52 percent: maps or navigation
-52 percent: mobile phone- handheld
-51 percent: beverage
-44 percent: mobile phone – hands free
-40 percent: food
-30 percent: general distraction
“These recent studies demonstrate the importance of fleets taking proactive measures to minimize the risk of driver distraction in their operations,” said Greg Drew, president and CEO of SmartDrive Systems. “Fortunately, it is possible for fleets to realize significant reductions in specific behaviors. The effort spent can have a dramatic impact on collisions, saving lives and money.”
The study, which was conducted mainly by in-vehicle video monitoring, recorded distractions that cannot be quantified by traditional approaches, such as using a cell phone, using maps, eating/drinking, smoking, or any other distraction that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds or have their hands engaged with something besides driving for more than three seconds. The study identified more than 50 types of driver distractions.

The study also allowed fleets to proactively prevent these distractions.  SmartDrive kept ongoing improvement records for individual drivers during the course of the study, which enabled fleet managers to review video footage of their drivers and coach them on proper practices, scored and prioritized by the SmartDrive Expert Review.  Drivers reduced distracting behavior by a significant percentage with this mitigating strategy:

  • 54 %: smoking
  • 52 %: maps or navigation
  • 52 %: mobile phone- handheld
  • 51 %: beverage
  • 44 %: mobile phone – hands free
  • 40 %: food

30 percent: general distraction

“These recent studies demonstrate the importance of fleets taking proactive measures to minimize the risk of driver distraction in their operations,” said Greg Drew, president and CEO of SmartDrive Systems. “Fortunately, it is possible for fleets to realize significant reductions in specific behaviors. The effort spent can have a dramatic impact on collisions, saving lives and money.”