The costs of distracting driving are going off the rails according to new data just released.
“Distracted driving costs the United States as much as $175 billion a year and it continues to be one of the most serious hazards facing the commercial transportation industry,” stated Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive., which specializes in driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency.
”While everyone understands distracted driving is a problem, only video safety—deployed with a cab-facing camera—provides the objective measurement of the associated driving risks,” he added.
And, those risks are troubling. The company notes that:
- The most distracted drivers are 36 percent more likely to be involved in a near collision than other drivers;
- Drivers most distracted by a mobile device are 3x more likely than other drivers to exceed the speed limit by at least 10 mph or more; and
- Distracted drivers waste 6.1 percent more fuel than other drivers; those using mobile devices waste 8.4 percent more fuel.
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. For fleets, this increases the risk of collisions and the costs associated when one occurs.
Additionally, the SmartDrive SmartIQ 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,” observed 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.”
“Seatbelt compliance is one key indicator of a driver’s propensity towards risk,” Sljivar continued. “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.”