SmartDrive Study Reveals Commercial Drivers’ Distracting Habits

Posted on April 30, 2013

The San Diego-based SmartDrive Systems has released the results of a study that looked at the prevalence of distraction among the drivers of commercial vehicles.  The results are somewhat disheartening, as they show that distraction is fairly common even among the drivers of vehicles whose large size makes them particularly dangerous if an errant maneuver is executed because of lost focus.

Researchers looked at 15.1 million video events from 2012 to get a sense of how often a dangerous driving maneuver occurred in conjunction with some type of distraction.  When drivers were speeding, a full one out of four were shown to be on their cellphones at the time.  Eating and drinking accounted for 34% of instances in which a driver was speeding, while the driver simply having something in their hand contributed to 27% of speeding incidents.

What’s more, it would appear that those drivers who are most willing to engage in distraction also tend to let those distractions account for their dangerous driving habits.  79% of all risky maneuvers among the top 5% of distracted drivers could be correlated with some type of distraction.  Mobile phone usage was the most typical danger, with the most susceptible persons engaging in an activity on their cellular phones 27% of the time.  These same drivers used their phones at rates that were 29 times as great than those who tended not to engage in distracted driving.

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