Safety & Compliance

Distracted Driving Down 32 Percent Among SmartDrive Users

April 28, 2010

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For the first quarter 2010, distracted driving among new commercial drivers in the SmartDrive Safety program was reduced by 32 percent from the 15.8 percent reported in the fourth quarter 2009.
Commercial drivers with more time in the SmartDrive Safety program reduced their distraction rate to 6.2 percent, according to the latest SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index.

"The good news here is that the vast majority of professional drivers are proving to be safe and responsible vehicle operators," said Jason Palmer, chief product officer for SmartDrive Systems.

The SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index (SDDI) provides fleet safety professionals with an ongoing measurement of causes and trends in distracted driving behaviors to help them put safer drivers on the road. The data is derived from the SmartDrive Safety program, which uses in-vehicle recorders to capture video, audio and vehicle data during sudden stops, swerves, collisions and other events. Event data is categorized and scored according to a 55-point safety scale. The SDDI data compares drivers in their first two weeks on the SmartDrive Safety program with drivers who have benefited from three or more weeks in the program.

The study evaluated more than three million video events recorded in January, February and March 2010 across 20,256 commercial drivers. Through detailed analysis, SmartDrive is able to quantify distractions such as cell phone usage, text messaging, use of maps or navigation, eating/drinking/smoking, or any other distraction resulting in drivers taking their eyes off the road.

According to the study, overall distraction for new drivers was 10.8 percent in the first quarter, meaning new drivers were distracted nearly 11 percent of the time while driving. Distraction was down in all areas, including object in hand, beverage and food. Most notably, distraction from smoking was down 60 percent, while distraction from handheld phones and handheld devices was down 48 percent and 58 percent, respectively.

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