The dangers of driving while distracted, especially in this age of distraction, are self-evident. Nevertheless, when you read a study on the matter, the issue is really brought home. And that’s what happens after reading the study put out by artificial intelligence telematics startup Nauto.
The study zeroed in on how accidents are caused by distracted driving and how frequent they are. Furthermore, the breakdown looked at ways technology can possibly counteract some of the reasons for the is epidemic of distracted driving.
The first thing Nauto’s study claims is that the statistics quoted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are not high enough. Nauto asserts that the stat that there are an average of 9 distracted driving casualties a day in the US is too low.
“There are many studies on distracted driving, and the numbers vary quite widely. That is primarily because most of our traffic data here in the U.S. and also in other Western countries, is based on police-reportable collisions,” said Jennifer Haroon, chief operating officer at Nauto.
She adds, “For one, not all collisions are serious enough to be reported to the police. And two, when people are in a collision, even if distracted driving was one of the mitigating factors, they normally don’t volunteer it and report it to the police.”
So, in effect, the fact that these incidents go unreported, or not described as distracted driving, means the numbers aren’t really accurate. Even still, most people understand how impactful distracted driving can be.
In fact, there is widespread concern with the issue of distracted driving. Many trucking fleets now provide a variety of training programs that target this issue. These programs focus on the crucial nature of drivers staying focused. This fact was brought home by the National Safety Council’s initiative of declaring the month of April as the ‘distracted driving awareness’ month.
Reasons for Distracted Driving
Nauto believes their data points to cell phones being a huge culprit in the rise of distracted driving. The study also cited things like people doing paperwork in the cab, eating, drinking, or even simply talking while in the vehicle.
The one positive in all of this is the realization that new technology can help correct some of these behaviors. AI for instance can alert people when they veer out of their lane or get to close to another vehicle. This technology intended for driverless trucks can be of use with drivers.
What do you all think? Is distracted driving a huge problem?