Automotive Fleet

OCT 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 81

SPECIAL FLEET SAFETY SERIES SPONSORED BY VOLVO CARS NORTH AMERICA FORGOT TEN DRIVER DISTRACTIONS TO Distracted driving policies should include the less thought about, but still prevalent, distractions that substantially increase crash risks. BY ATHENA MEKIS Eating Causes Driver Mistakes Eating while driving is riskier than talking/ listening to a handheld device, according to NHTSA. Afer reviewing a 2006 crash-risk analysis, NHTSA found that the extended glance length of eating while driving caused a 1.57:1 crash-risk ratio while talking/listening to a handheld device while driving caused a 1.29:1 crash-risk ratio. Te U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently ruled the hours-of-service regulations for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) will no longer be enforced as of July 1, 2013, meaning drivers with the ability to fold the passenger seat down, may be even 50 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I OCTOBER 2013 more tempted to turn that workspace into a countertop for eating while driving. Don't Resist a Rest Drowsy driving reduces response time, which increases the crash risk ratio 4.24:1, according to NHTSA. Drowsiness typically has more to do with time-of-day rather than time-on-task. Te Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reported that drowsy driving is two times more likely to occur during the frst hour of a work shif, because drivers are not fully refreshed and awake when they begin their day. According to a 2011 assessment by FMCSA, drowsy driving is also more common among younger or less experienced CMV drivers. Fleet managers should inform their drivers of the statistics on drowsy driving during training. Living in a Dream World In 2013, Erie Insurance Company released its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which reviewed nationwide crash data between 2010 and 2011. According to the data, police listed drivers as "lost in thought" 62 percent of the time as the cause of vehicle collisions. Daydreaming while driving, as with other distracted driving habits, is voluntary, and if caught, drivers should be reprimanded for voluntarily endangering company property, and disregarding their job duties and personal safety, which may result in a lawsuit against the company. Limit In-Car Entertainment Controls, displays, and driver aids are standard driving tools today. Afer observing drivers who were instructed to perform radio tuning, NHTSA recorded that crashrisk increased afer the driver's eyes lef the road for more than 2 seconds. Furthermore, NHTSA research noted that a task should not take longer than 12 seconds. Put a Lid on Sightseeing Drivers should constantly scan the road, but should not fxate on objects surrounding the road. According to the FMCSA, drivers who fxate on external objects — e.g., people, billboards, and landmarks — are likely to enter into a blind gaze where they are not paying attention to the road. AF Eating, drinking, using a handheld device, or operating vehicle electronics while driving are distractions that cause drivers to lose focus on vehicle operation and increase crash risk. PHOTO: JUDY KRUK W hile banning the use of handheld devices while driving, especially texting while driving, has been at the forefront of company feet safety policies, there are other less recognized cognitive and physical distractions that continue to impact the safe operation of feet vehicles. In 2008, the National Highway Trafc Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that all drivers engage in secondary tasks 30 percent of the time while their vehicles are in motion. NHTSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that driver distractions were behind 65 percent of near-crashes and 80 percent of crashes. Research has shown that most crashes occurred within 3 seconds afer the driver was distracted. Cell-phone use and texting may be today's biggest scourge in the transportation safety sector, but there are other common driver distractions that also substantially increase crash risks:

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Automotive Fleet - OCT 2013