Distracted to Death: 5 Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving
By Mobileye 13.09.2018 Collision Avoidance,Fleet Management
We’ve all been there – driving along when all of the sudden you hear the buzz, buzz of an incoming message and you have to look down, just for a second to see who’s texting and maybe send a short reply… Congratulations, you’re a distracted driver. And for the professional driver, on the road all day long – the temptation to text or to fiddle with your radio is enormous.
No wonder a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study showed that 3,450 people died in the US in 2016 alone due to distracted driving, while the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who texted while driving were 23 times more likely to either crash or nearly crash . Mobileye continually hears from Fleet and Safety Managers that fighting these dangerous behaviors has become a number one priority for many Fleet and Safety Managers.
So, what can be done?
- Lock it: There is little doubt that the device “most likely to distract” is the cell phone. So much of our lives revolves around this little piece of hardware that it’s hard to imagine going hours without looking at it. So in the spirit of “out of sight, out of mind,” encourage drivers to lock away their cell phones in the glove compartment. You can even find devices that won’t allow the vehicle to start until the phone is locked away.
- Hands-Off: If that’s a bit extreme, vehicles can be equipped with a hands-free device, allowing drivers to make calls with minimal distraction. Of course, these devices are less than a perfect solution. In a recent study the AAA found that drivers can remain distracted for 27 seconds after making a call, even with a hands-free device, or after doing something as simple as changing radio stations.
- There’s an App for That: A number of apps have been developed to help stop distracted driving. In general, these apps prevent drivers from using their phone while in a moving vehicle, blocking calls and texts until the vehicle stops. Of course these apps rely on the drivers’ willingness to use them, which makes the following step even more important…
- Education: Let’s face it, no solution will work without the drivers’ cooperation and the best way to work with drivers is to show them that distracted driving is bad for everyone. Nobody wants to get in a collision but how many drivers realize the danger of answering one text?
- Warning: According to NHTSA almost 80% of all collisions occur due to some form of distracted driving during the 3 seconds before a collision. Collision avoidance systems such as Mobileye can play an important role in reducing these statistics. When Mobileye’s sensors detect a dangerous situation ahead, they generate both audio and visual cues, pulling the driver’s attention back to the road and warning the driver to pay attention so that the dangerous situation doesn’t become a collision. Best of all, the Mobileye system does not rely on an unwilling or stressed driver’s co-operation in giving up their cell phone, nor does it rely on the driver to activate the system. It’s just always there, undistracted, helping to protect the driver and all those around them and complementing whatever other steps are taken to reduce both the phenomenon and the results of distracted driving.