February 7, 2023

Protection first: Gurus give guidelines to do away with drowsy and distracted driving

Written by Don Osterberg, basic safety advisor to Omnitracs

We all know we’re not superheroes, impervious to soreness. But frequently, we slide target to terrible behavior guiding the wheel and interact in driving behaviors as if we’re invincible — often without knowing it.

Drowsy and distracted driving have resulted in a longstanding epidemic that has only worsened with the coupling of our misplaced enthusiasm for multitasking and now-ongoing connection to technological innovation.

On July 27, Don Osterberg, safety advisor at Omnitracs, and Jeff Griswold, Omnitracs director of product administration, joined forces to host the 4 Actions to Remove Drowsy or Distracted Driving webinar.

Osterberg is a acknowledged authority on provider security, while Griswold has managed Omnitracs’ SmartDrive suite of fleet basic safety alternatives — like video-based safety — because 2014. Browse on for quite a few top insights from the webinar.

Deciphering variations between drowsy and distracted driving

According to the National Safety Council, truck-associated fatalities increased by practically 50% from 2009 to 2019, with drowsy and distracted driving equally topping the checklist of causal components resulting in substantial-severity crashes.

The phrases “drowsy” and “distracted” describe two exclusive behaviors that are interrelated. Drowsy driving pertains to tiredness-like behaviors and hazards, though distracted driving focuses on handbook, visible and cognitive distractions, these kinds of as cellphone use and smoking cigarettes.

Quite a few of us are unaware of how considerably drowsiness alters our alertness and responsiveness. The Centers for Disease Management and Prevention (CDC) states that currently being awake for 24 hours is the identical as owning a blood alcoholic beverages content of .10% — which is larger than the lawful limit in the U.S. The estimated societal value of fatigue-linked crashes and injuries is $109 billion each individual yr, according to the Insurance policy Information Institute. Researchers concluded this in 2016, when a single of the most recent detailed scientific studies on this issue was performed. Now, in 2021, this metric is possible considerably higher.

Distracted driving metrics really don’t fare a great deal better. The National Highway Website traffic Basic safety Administration notes that sending or reading through a text can take your eyes off the street for at the very least five seconds — sufficient time to drive about the size of a football area. Consider driving by means of a football subject with your eyes sealed restricted. Out of the blue, answering that textual content may possibly not seem to be so essential.

Every driver is prone to drowsy or distracted driving hazards. Nonetheless, professional motorists typically run heavy motor vehicles, balancing long workdays with multiple working day-to-day jobs from the backdrop of excessive offer chain pressure for on-time deliveries. Comprehension and eradicating hazardous driving behaviors in the fleet planet is critical to driver security, highway protection and driver retention.

What distracted or drowsy driving seems like up near

One particular popular component of drowsy or distracted driving is a perception of invincibility. Most specialist drivers definitely just take their roles and motivation to safety significantly. But we’re all human, inclined to habit and exhaustion. We can normally slip unknowingly, pushing on for “just 1 far more hour” or urgent “send” on a text concept. We might believe, “I know undesirable issues can happen, but I never believe it’ll transpire to me now.” Or we might convey to ourselves, “I’ve pushed tired just before, and very little undesirable took place, so I’ll battle as a result of it.”

To stay away from this, we must discover a few unique kinds of distractions:

  • Manual,
  • Visible and
  • Cognitive.

Guide interruptions require taking your arms absent from the wheel to eat, consume or smoke. Visible interruptions lead to you using your eyes absent from the highway to do a little something like lookup for things in the taxi or regulate your non-cab-compatible GPS. Cognitive interruptions final result in your brain wandering away from your driving task thanks to road rage or speaking on your cellphone.

Curiously, as our data exhibits underneath, virtually 90% of these interruptions occur below obvious skies and in the daytime.

Distracted Driving Illustration

The common in submit-crash litigation these days is to ask carriers what they could have accomplished to avert collisions. The paradigm has shifted, and lots of de-facto standards of care have emerged. Carriers can shield motorists and hold their small business brand — and revenue — out of the courtroom with aid from comprehensive safety, protection and movie alternatives.

Measures to mitigate distracted or drowsy driving

Fleet leaders can merge main transportation know-how with successful safety management and driver coaching procedures to reduce distracted or drowsy driving.

Other steps leaders can take involve:

  1. Prioritize a powerful society of safety by generating basic safety a main benefit, not just a precedence. Carriers should really also look at building a no-cellphone use coverage.
  2. Educate household users to eradicate needless cellular phone phone calls to their driver, and make guaranteed they genuinely have an understanding of the challenges drowsy or distracted driving pose to their cherished ones. Also, leaders need to inform family users to encourage top quality, restorative slumber for expert motorists. Ultimately, household education on the signals and indications of obstructive sleep apnea will result in drivers being tested and treated for this frequent, fatigue-producing disease.
  3. Make use of a video-dependent basic safety resolution that alerts drivers as they unknowingly tumble victim to routine. This allows drivers change their behavior before a severe incident and provides customized insights and schooling tailor-made to their exceptional behaviors, so they are empowered to enhance their driving skillsets.
  4. Present motorists a major professional motor vehicle navigation application mounted in a location which is effortless to see, so that they really do not have to fiddle with the GPS on their cell phone or read through a map or highway signals.

The most secure carriers use leading safety, stability and online video solutions to lower crash frequencies and avoid nuclear verdicts. A person main provider Omnitracs partnered with diminished crashes by 60%, whilst another carrier created a whopping 11 exonerations in just one 12 months.

The base line is apparent: To reverse the unfavorable developments in truck-concerned injury and fatality crashes, we should do extra and be improved. As transportation specialists, we have a moral obligation to do so. The best hazard nowadays is executing very little.

There are proven technologies out there nowadays that final result in improved basic safety. Talk to your self, “If we experienced a driver who was driving drowsy or distracted, would we want to know?” If you want to know, there are ways nowadays that you can.

We owe it to each our drivers and the motoring community to run as safely as we can.

The dialogue with Don Osterberg and Jeff Griswold involved quite a few far more beneficial guidelines as very well as downloadable means for your motorists, so tune in to the overall webinar to find out far more about how you can mitigate threat for your fleet and empower your motorists to enhance!