In September of 2010 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report on Distracted Driving fatalities. This term refers to the more popular terms "texting while driving" and "talking while driving". In everyday life, it’s rarely given second thought to the repercussions that these tasks have on your safety. In 2009 there were 5,474 people in the US reported as killed by Distracted Drivers. Unfortunately even if you use a Bluetooth headset vs. a handheld device, the rates do not diminish much.
Though it seems that all drivers are involved in an accident at some point, the data from NHTS as well as studies run by insurance companies suggests somewhat of a different perspective. That is, about 19% of drivers account for almost 80% of all accidents. What is even more interesting is that recent research has identified the Five Driver Safety Traits that those in the high risk group seem to have in common. These include:
- Aware of surroundings
- Cautious approach
- Rule Following
- Safety Knowledge
The implications are vast as companies can now better screen drivers before seating them in a vehicle. The data coming back in the form of reduced accidents and moving violations is impressive.
Distracted driving is dangerous in a personal vehicle, let alone a truck carrying large commercial shipments. The message is clear – focus on driving and turn your phone off! Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the importance of each of the Five Driver Safety Traits and the legal defensibility of driver assessments.