NTRCI’s mission is to conduct real-world research that can help identify the specific elements contributing to distracted driving in commercial vehicle operators as well as develop training and intervention systems.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic on our roadways. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), found that driver inattention led to 80 percent of all crashes and to 65 percent of all near-crashes. In 2008, driver distraction led to at least 5,870 fatalities, representing 16 percent of all fatal crashes. Offenders of distracted driving appear not only in light vehicles, but in heavy trucks and commercial vehicles as well. A study by Hanowski et al. at VTTI revealed that professional truck drivers who sent text messages while driving were 23 times more likely to crash or nearly crash than their non-texting professional driver counterparts.
Driver Distraction: An Inattention-Mitigation Component for Behavior-Based Safety Programs in Commercial Vehicle Operations
The aim of this research effort is to develop a comprehensive inattention mitigation component of a behavior-based safety program (IM-BBS) in commercial motor vehicle operations. A key focus will be on the use of real-time inattention monitoring technologies which could provide real-time feedback to the driver as well as post-trip summary reports based on data continuously transmitted to the back-office via wireless communication.
Impact of Distraction and Health on Commercial Driving Performance
Commercial driver health and wellness has been recognized as a national primary concern of several federal agencies. One major contributor to compromised driver safety is distracted driving, an activity in which many commercial drivers engage.