Distraction

Hickman, Jeffrey S., Richard J. Hanowski, and Joseph Bocanegra. Distraction in Commercial Truck and Buses: Assessing Prevalence and Risk in Conjunction with Crashes and Near Crashes. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia tech Transportation Institute, Center for Truck and Bus Safety, 2010. This research analyzes data on commercial trucks (3-axle and tractor trailer/tanker) and buses (transit and motor coaches) over a 1-year. Study results document the prevalence of cellular telephone distractions and the risk associated with performing related tasks while driving. Findings include the odds of involvement in a safety-critical event differed as a function of performing different cell phone-related sub-tasks while driving. More specifically, talking/listening on a cell phone while driving was generally found not to impact significantly the odds of involvement in a safety-critical event (and was even found to decrease the odds significantly in some cases), while other cell phone sub-tasks (e.g., texting, dialing, reaching) were found to increase significantly the odds of involvement in a safety-critical event. Analyses examine the likelihood of commercial drivers to use their cell phone under a fleet cell phone policy and State cell phone law.

Williams-Bergen, Eric., et al. Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do. Governors Highway Safety Association. July 7, 2011. This report reviews and summarizes distracted driving research available as of January 2011 to inform states and other organizations as they consider distracted driving countermeasures. It concentrates on distractions produced by cell phones, text messaging, and other electronic devices brought into the vehicle. It also considers other distractions that drivers choose to engage in, such as eating and drinking, personal grooming, reading, and talking to passengers. It addresses distractions associated with vehicle features only briefly. They have been studied extensively by automobile manufacturers, but states have little role in addressing them.

Craft, R.H. & Preslopsky, B. (2010). Driver Distraction and Inattention in the United States Large Truck and National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Studies. Washington, DC: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Presentation in slide format which uses statistical analysis to form summaries and conclusions regarding the relative causes of motor vehicle crashes.

Olson, Rebecca L., et al. Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Center for Truck and Bus Safety, 2008. This study investigates the impact of driver distraction in commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations. Key findings include that drivers were engaged in non-driving related tasks in 71 percent of crashes, 46 percent of near-crashes, and 60 percent of all safety-critical events. Also, performing highly complex tasks while driving lead to a significant increase in risk. Eye glance analyses examined driver eye location while performing tasks while operating a CMV. Tasks associated with high odds ratios (increased risk) were also associated with high eyes off forward road times. This suggests that tasks that draw the driver’s visual attention away from the forward roadway should be minimized or avoided. Based on the results of the analyses, a number of recommendations are presented that may help address the issue of driver distraction in CMV operations.

Official U.S. Government website for Distracted Driving. This website offers information for all sorts of users ranging from employers to parents on the subject of distracted driving, its causes, and what can be done to promote driver safety.