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30 CHAPTER THREE SURVEY METHODS AND RESULTS BACKGROUND for-hire, with a substantial representation from private fleets. Both long- and short-haul operations were well-represented. This chapter describes the screening survey approach and pro- As to operational mode, truckload and less-than-truckload vides principal results. The screening survey served to identify operations were represented, with a substantial number of fleet managers willing to participate in the structured inter- tanker operations, including hazmat. The responding fleets view portion of the project. Because the sample size was small primarily use employee drivers, with a substantial number these results should not be used for unintended purposes. also using contract drivers in part of their operation. Twenty- one respondents volunteered to do follow-up interviews for The survey asked fleet managers questions about the structured interview portion of the project. distraction-related safety problems they faced, what counter- measures they used, and the effectiveness of these practices. The survey also investigated the views of these respon- Motor Coaches dents regarding various warning modes for driver assis- tance systems. There were 13 responses to the survey from motor coaches. Respondents typically had approximately 16 years experience A general caveat regarding the survey responses is that they as a safety manager and on average half of their time is focused were primarily subjective responses to subjective questions. on safety. Large and small fleets were represented: the number Another caveat is that, because this was a screening survey, the of power units ranged from 21 to 2,300, with a mean of 456. responses are not a representative sample of some larger pop- Both local and long-haul passenger transport were represented. ulation such as "all carrier owners/managers." In spite of these Several respondents volunteered to do follow-up interviews caveats, survey findings are revealing because of the compar- for the structured interview portion of the project. However, ative information they provide; for example, the perceived efforts to arrange follow-up interviews were not successful. relative importance of various safety problems and perceived relative effectiveness of solutions. Role of Driver Distraction In addition to the extensive industry outreach conducted in the Overall Safety Picture by team member ATRI, the support of the National Private Truck Council and the American Bus Association was critical Motor Carriers to the success of the survey. These organizations solicited sur- vey participation by their members through e-mail requests There was wide agreement that driver distraction from all containing links to the online survey. sources is a significant safety issue for fleet operations. Only one respondent disagreed with this statement. As to a driver's The original survey is provided as Appendix A. Survey personal electronic devices causing distraction, again there results for Motor Carriers are provided in Appendix B, and was wide agreement, with two respondents disagreeing. The results for Motor Coaches can be found in Appendix C. picture is mixed for identifying job-related devices with dis- traction. Several respondents believed that this is the case; however, a number were neutral and several disagreed. As to SURVEY ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY the latter, several respondents noted that their company devices do not allow interaction while the unit is moving. Description of Responding Carriers Motor Carriers In the comments, driver distraction was considered a "number one concern"; however, several noted that distrac- There were 34 responses to the survey from motor carriers. tions have always been present in the truck cab; that is, "we Respondents typically had more than 20 years experience as cannot blame just the electronics." Remarks were made to dis- a safety manager and they reported that the majority of their courage anything that causes a driver to "take his eyes off the time is focused on safety. Large and small fleets were repre- road or the driver's mind away from his driving." Another sented: the number of power units ranged from 7 to 31,000, respondent noted that eating and drinking while driving has with a mean of 1,666. The fleet operation type was primarily increased with the advent of the 14-hour limit.

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31 Some respondents commented that more awareness and Eating, drinking, and smoking; driver training should be set as goals within carriers' safety Reading a map or directions; programs, with one noting that training and policy measures to Talking on a hand-held mobile phone; address distracted driving practices have significantly reduced Texting and dialing a hand-held mobile phone; and their distractive driving exposure. Searching or reaching for objects in the cab. Although it is important to keep the driver's mind stimu- There were 25 respondents who believed that talking on lated, one respondent commented "there needs to be an under- a hands-free phone was distracting, as well as partaking in standing that there is a line that can be crossed. You don't want grooming and hygiene tasks. Just fewer than 20 reported a cab with nothing at all going on, but you need to eliminate dis- that attending to passengers and adjusting in-vehicle con- tractions that remove the driver's concentration from his driv- trols (entertainment and climate control) were distracting. ing duties. Removing CB radios, other radios, and sources of Reading billboards was cited by 14 respondents, and one entertainment would tend to lull the driver into boredom and noted that writing down state line crossings was an addi- sleep. This opinion comes from my experience as a driver." tional distraction. Company culture and driver relations come into play as well. One respondent noted that "technology has created the Motor Coaches issue and truly needs to assist in solving this problem. Cell phones are of particular interest for safe driving. Monitoring Ten or more respondents identified the following as distracted drivers for these distractions is certainly possible; however, driving behaviors: it becomes an issue with big brother watching over a driver. As a private fleet with low turnover, the company culture will Passenger interactions; suffer if the right balance between monitoring, safety, and Eating, drinking, and smoking; trust is not achieved." Grooming and hygiene; Reading a map or directions; Talking on a hand-held mobile phone; Motor Coaches Texting and dialing a hand-held mobile phone; and Searching or reaching for objects in the cab. Although the means for motor coach responses were very sim- ilar to those for motor carriers, there was slightly more diver- There were eight respondents who believed that talking sity in the responses. Again, there was wide agreement that on a hands-free phone was distracting. Reading billboards driver distraction from all sources is a significant safety issue was cited as distracting by six respondents, about half of the for fleet operations, with only one respondent disagreeing with group. this statement. As to a driver's personal electronic devices causing distraction, nine agreed with this statement and two disagreed. Eight respondents agreed that job-related devices Devices Contributing to Distracted Driving contribute to distraction, with three disagreeing. Motor Carriers In the comments, several mentioned the unique aspects of More than 30 respondents believed that driver's personal elec- passenger transportation, specifically the role of passenger tronic devices contributed to distracted driving. The next most interactions in distraction. One noted that his tour drivers "by prevalent were job-related devices contributing to distracted definition . . . are distracted drivers" and dispatch commu- driving, with responses ranging from 20 to 25, specifically nication and operation of on-board systems such as audio onboard entertainment and GPS navigation systems. Eight entertainment just adds to the issue. One believed that motor- respondents said aftermarket active safety systems were a coach operators needed to refrain from all device distractions distraction concern, about the same number as those who and "concentrate totally on their job of transporting passen- indicated weigh-in-motion. gers in a total safe environment." He called for enforcement to be increased against both drivers and companies, as well One respondent noted that although ". . . anything taking as for an educational process to ensure that all motor coach your eyes off the road is technically a distraction, every operators are aware of the distraction problem. safety professional has seen consequences for something as simple as changing the radio station. But we obviously don't Distracted Driving Behaviors want everything regulated. There's no way to enforce look- ing at a billboard." Motor Carriers To reduce some in-cab distractions, a respondent noted More than 30 of the respondents identified the following as that "we have programmed our satellite communication sys- distracted driving behaviors: tems to `blank out' their screens when tractors are in motion.

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32 We have also employed a text-to-voice system to read aloud Safety culture as a whole is key, and both policies and training/ directions to customer facilities, preventing drivers from coaching practices play a part. If drivers see how serious you are regarding on-road distraction, then they will be just as seri- having to read directions from paper while driving." ous. If it's never mentioned, and they're still pushed from an operational standpoint to answer their phone or use their job- Others believed that phone conversations can hold a related electronic device no matter where they are (driving or not), then they may consider the distraction `supported' by driver's attention and distract from driving, that audio devices the carrier. Reinforcing this point was this comment: `Com- are more distracting than visual devices, and that adjusting placency is our greatest enemy. We have to keep drivers controls or reading billboards are things that are done by focused on the task at hand. Whether they are driving, loading choice when the time is right. As one individual noted, "The or unloading we have to train them to stay focused on what they are doing.' behavior is difficult to change, thus it takes a strong commit- ment from management. We need to lead by example. I would appreciate a system that would disable all personal Nevertheless, respondents noted their frustration with en- device electronics while the vehicle is in motion [so as to] forcement of policies, in that "policies do work sometimes, take away the temptation on the front end to effect behavior but to have a policy for everything that can happen is ridicu- change." lous. How do you enforce them? You are not in the cab with them. You can say that you are going to terminate them, but it is usually after something has happened." Another view Motor Coaches emphasized the value of awarding drivers who demonstrate and develop a safe employment record, and the importance of Ten or more respondents believed that a driver's personal communicating driver safety deficiencies immediately with electronic devices and on-board entertainment systems con- the driver. tribute to distracted driving. The next most prevalent sources were job-related devices and GPS navigation systems. Four Internal to the vehicle, the highest response (25 responses) respondents reported that aftermarket active safety systems was to implement lock-out functions on company devices were a distraction concern. when the vehicle is being driven. Responses ranging in the low 20s advocated: One comment noted that commercial drivers do "an out- standing job given all of the distractions required" in addition Banning the use of personal communications, to maintaining safe driving. Another mentioned that there Taking care in placing aftermarket devices within the cab, have been "way too many" motor coach accidents that could Using active safety systems, have been avoided if proper rules and laws had been fol- Conducting ride-along observations, and lowed. This respondent also noted that driver fatigue remains Implementing automatic video monitoring (the "most an important safety issue. effective tool" for one carrier). Effective Distracted Driving Countermeasures About half of the responses supported the effectiveness of dispatcher messages sent with different levels of urgency, Motor Carriers so that the driver can defer reading nonurgent messages until safely parked. As one noted, "We need to ensure that The group responded as to distracted driving countermeasures the dispatch/operations department provides the driver the they see as effective, in terms of measures external to the highest quality data available to minimize any distractions company, internal to the company, and internal to the vehicle. from that end of the operation." External to the company, insurance penalties only received Fourteen believed that monitoring systems that provide seven responses, whereas there was a strong affirmative retrospective feedback on the driver's distraction statistics response (2025) to cell phone prohibition laws and education were useful. As to cell phone use, 10 each said they sup- campaigns (on the risks of driving with cell phones and dis- ported a company policy only banning cell phone use while tracted driving in general). Approximately half of the respon- driving, and a company policy only allowing hands-free or dents believed that increased fines for driving while using cell voice-operated communication devices while driving. Com- phones would be effective. bined, this indicates that 20 advocate prohibiting use of a hand-held cell phone. The difficulty of enforcement of such Internal to the company, the strongest response was in sup- policies was again mentioned, as was the desire for a device porting a strong safety culture and clear employee policies to deactivate personal communication devices or at least and consequences for violations. Approximately 25 respon- report their use while the vehicle is in motion. One noted that, dents noted that good recruiting and post-incident coaching when possible, one-on-one contact is still the best trainer. are effective countermeasures. Emphasizing the importance Finally, nine respondents believed that physiological moni- of company culture, one noted that toring would be effective.

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33 One comment noted frustration with the interaction of Audible alerts were clearly seen as effective (with a mean of external versus internal factors; that is, 3.8 on a 5-point scale, with 5 indicating "highly effective"); one response saw audibles as ineffective. Support for visual Much of the countermeasures that anyone initiates is nullified by alerts was somewhat less (with a mean of 3.5), with responses the government reports that state to the effect that there is no split about evenly between "effective" and "neutral." There proof that there has been an increase in the number of accidents because of cell phone usage or texting while driving. I strongly was one response for "ineffective." Opinions on haptic alerts believe that there is very little investigative data gathered (at the were mixed. Although the mean was 3.4, only slightly fewer crash scene) about the cell phone, texting, Qualcomm, etc., supported this than visual; three respondents saw this mode usage in the 10 seconds before the crash. The crash data must be as "highly effective" and three others saw it as "ineffective." properly gathered in order to make a statement like that. Graded warnings received the strongest support with a mean of 3.9; 24 responses were "highly effective," and there were no Motor Coaches negative opinions expressed for this mode. The group responded as to distracted driving countermeasures Several respondents were concerned about false alarms they see as effective, in terms of measures external to the and desensitization from too many alarms. One noted that, company, internal to the company, and internal to the vehicle. "overall, if drivers are provided accurate feedback they will then adjust their habits. Provided with feedback that is only External to the company, broad education campaigns on the marginally correct they will only become frustrated and more risks of distracted driving were most frequently reported, with distracted. I also believe that an integrated all-in-one system 10 responses. Cell phone driving prohibitions, increased fines would be better than the one-off systems that exist today for violations, and better education as to the risks of driving (such as one system for speeding, one for lane departure, one while phoning each received 9 responses. The concept of incor- for following distance, etc.)." Another reinforced this point, porating insurance penalties only received 5 responses. saying that "what makes any alert ineffective is the occur- rence of false alerts. If a driver sees regular false alerts, the Internal to the company, the strongest response was in sup- technology becomes meaningless. Also, if too many warning porting a strong safety culture and recruiting drivers with a signals are present, a driver can easily get confused which demonstrated safety record (12 and 13 responses, respectively). warning signal belongs to which hazard." Having clear employee policies and consequences for viola- tions received 11 responses. The use of post-incident coaching Motor Coaches tools and targeted training received 10 responses each. For motor coach professionals, audible alerts were also seen as Internal to the vehicle, the highest number of responses (12) effective (a mean of 3.9 on a 5-point scale, with 5 indicating was for the use of automatic video monitoring, with 11 respon- "highly effective"). Support for visual alerts was somewhat dents noting the importance of carefully placing aftermarket less (with a mean of 3.5), with several "effective" responses devices in the driver area. Ten responses supported banning and one response for "ineffective." Opinions on haptic alerts the use of all personal communications devices, which some- were largely positive; although several responded as "neutral," what contradicts the nine responses supporting company pol- there were enough supporters such that the mean was 3.6. icy allowing only hands-free communications devices. About Graded warnings received strong support with a mean of 3.8. half responded that cell phone use in particular should be pro- Overall, the motor coach response on this topic was very sim- hibited. Monitoring systems providing retrospective driver ilar to that of motor carriers. feedback, as well as ride-along observations, each received 9 responses. Use of active safety systems and physiological Discussion monitoring each received 8 responses. Functional lock-outs for company devices only received 7 responses of support, For both industry sectors, there was wide agreement that somewhat less than that indicated by motor carriers. driver distraction from all sources is a significant safety issue. In terms of behaviors, although passenger interactions were the top source of distraction for motor coaches, both sectors Assessment of HumanMachine Interface Techniques view personal activities (eating, grooming, etc.) as major distraction sources, as well as reaching for objects and map Motor Carriers reading. Talking, texting, and dialing on a hand-held phone were clearly seen as distracting by both groups. In terms of Opinions were provided as to the relative effectiveness of distracting devices, personal electronic devices received the audible, visual, and haptic means of communicating informa- strongest response. Job-related devices and GPS navigation tion to the driver by means of devices not integrated into the systems received many responses as well. Approximately vehicle, as well as graded warnings (warnings that progress one-quarter of each group believed that aftermarket active from less urgent to more urgent if the driver does not respond). safety systems were a distraction source.

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34 There was more divergence on distracted driving counter- devices when the vehicle is being driven, reflecting the high measures. The motor carrier industry respondents strongly degree of interaction with dispatching in many freight oper- supported laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving, ations. For motor coaches the strongest response was for the whereas broad education campaigns on the risks of distracted use of automatic video monitoring, which was supported by driving represented the top priority for motor coach respon- more than half of the motor carrier responses. From both dents, closely followed by support for cell phone prohibitions groups, there was strong support for banning the use of all while driving. Insurance penalties were not strongly sup- personal communications devices, using active safety sys- ported by either group. tems, and carefully placing aftermarket devices in the driver area. There was strong opposition to the use of hand-held cell Internal to the company, both groups believed that hav- phones by drivers, and opinions were mixed as to allowing ing a strong safety culture was the most important counter- the use of hands-free cell phones. measure. Careful hiring, plus clear employee policies and consequences for violations were also seen as very important. As to the relative effectiveness of audible, visual, and hap- Post-incident coaching was also strongly supported by both tic means of communicating information to the driver by groups. means of devices not integrated into the vehicle, there was strong alignment between both groups. All three modes were Internal to the vehicle, for motor carriers the strongest seen as effective, with audible alerts viewed as most effective. response was to implement lock-out functions on company The use of graded warnings was strongly supported.