The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

SmartDrive: Distracted Driving Up Among New Commercial Drivers

August 23, 2010

SAN DIEGO - Newly released research from SmartDrive Systems concludes that for the quarter ending June 30 of this year, the incidence of distracted driving among new drivers in the SmartDrive Safety program was 11.8 percent. That's a 9-percent increase compared to the distraction rate reported in the first quarter of 2010.

SmartDrive Systems is a leader in fleet safety and operational efficiency. The company on Aug. 19 released its latest SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index, a quarterly benchmark of commercial fleet driving distraction rates. SmartDrive will also be providing its findings at the U.S. Department of Transportation's 2010 Distracted Driving Summit, scheduled for Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. 

The company's safety program tracks more than 21,000 commercial drivers and more than 3.5 million video events. Drowsiness and running stoplights and stop signs top the list of potential factors in near collisions.

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 SDDI 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 50-plus safety observations. The SDDI data compares drivers in their first three weeks on the SmartDrive Safety program with drivers who have benefited from more time in the program.

The study evaluated more than 3.51 million video events recorded in April, May and June of 2010, involving 21,456 commercial drivers. Through detailed video analysis, SmartDrive is able to quantify distractions such as cell phone usage, text messaging, use of maps or navigation, eating/drinking/smoking, and other actions.

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