Drivers

SmartDrive Spells Out High Costs of Distracted Driving

April 13, 2017

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While it doesn’t take rocket science to view distracted drivers as accidents waiting to happen, new data-based findings released by SmartDrive indicate just how risky and costly these vehicle operators can be.

The SmartIQ Snapshot, released April 13, aggregates and anonymizes data from the SmartDrive advanced video-based analytics platform.

The company said this newest set of data analysis “clearly demonstrates that the most distracted drivers are less safe overall, commit significantly more fundamental driving errors, and drive faster than the speed limit compared to all other drivers.” They also waste more fuel.

The Snapshot for trucking produced these key stats:

  • The most distracted drivers are 36% more likely to be involved in a near collision than all other drivers.
  • The most distracted drivers are 84% more likely than other drivers to roll through a stop sign or red light. Those most distracted by a mobile device are 2.5 times more likely to not stop.
  • The most distracted drivers are 87% more likely to drive 10 mph or more over the speed limit. But if they are distracted by a mobile device, they are nearly 3 times more likely than all other drivers to drive 10 mph or more over the speed limit.
  • The most distracted drivers drift out of their lane almost 2 times more frequently than all other drivers. This number increases to 2.3 times more than all other drivers for those most distracted by a mobile device.
  • Drivers who are most often distracted are more likely to not wear their seatbelt at a rate 4.1 times higher than other drivers.
  • The most distracted drivers waste more fuel, resulting in 6% lower mpg than other drivers. This number increases to more than 8% when most distracted by a mobile device.

Analysis of in-cab video and observation data gathered over 14.5 billion driving miles show that distracted drivers are more likely than all other drivers to have a near collision, fail to stop at an intersection, and exceed the speed limit. SmartDrive said this increases the risk of collisions and the costs associated when one occurs.

Additionally, the company said the Snapshot “confirms the widely held assumption that mobile devices are the predominant cause of distracted driving.” 

"It's evident that mobile device usage and a host of other distractions can seriously impair the driver's ability to safely operate the vehicle and should not be ignored," said Slaven Sljivar, vice president of analytics, SmartDrive. "Most importantly, our robust data set provides quantifiable evidence of the dangers and costs associated with distracted driving when left unchecked."

Sljivar also noted that seatbelt compliance is a key indicator of a driver's propensity towards risk. "Distracted drivers don't wear their seatbelt at a rate that is significantly higher than other drivers — which signals to a fleet the potential for future issues with that driver. Distraction impacts more than safety costs. In fact, distracted drivers consistently waste the most fuel — which is a direct hit to a fleet's bottom line."

The complete Distracted Driving Snapshot is available online. It includes "Top 9 Tips to Eliminate Distracted Driving," a guide designed to help fleets understand how distracted driving affects performance and what to do about it.

Sljivar will discuss the SmartDrive SmartIQ distracted-driving findings during a webinar to be held on Thursday, May 4 at 9:00 am PDT/12 pm EDT. For more information and to register, click here.

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