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5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION PROJECT OVERVIEW tion; (2) survey motor carrier and motor coach managers to identify fleet managers willing to participate in the structured Driver distraction for all vehicle types is an area of concern interview portion of the project; (3) identify, through struc- across the surface transportation industry, as indicated in tured interviews with fleet managers, current and potential 2010 by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called it tactics and training methodologies to assist motor carriers and an "epidemic" and characterized it as "unsafe, irresponsible, drivers in avoiding crashes through the awareness of danger- and, in a split second, its consequences can be devastating." ous actions and possible countermeasures; and (4) identify The increased use of basic cell phones has been followed by gaps in knowledge and research needs. the rapid proliferation of smart phones, aftermarket navigation systems [e.g., global positioning systems (GPS)], and iPad- For the purposes of this synthesis study, distracted driving type devices, all of which are more text-oriented, presenting for commercial drivers was defined as attending to tasks not the added issue of texting while driving. directly related to operating the vehicle. Integrated displays and controls implemented by the vehicle manufacturer were The automotive industry has been an active participant considered as part of vehicle operation. This was also true of in implementing distracted driving countermeasures for its reading and comprehending roadside signage; therefore, the customers. Owing to the different market dynamics for com- specific distraction sources examined were: mercial trucks and motor coaches, it is possible that cell phones and other devices have proliferated without commen- surate countermeasures. Furthermore, the nature of operating Internal sources a commercial truck or motor coach may introduce additional Vehicle-based--communication devices, aftermarket distractions, relating to areas such as weigh-in-motion and active safety systems, onboard entertainment systems, passenger interactions. GPS navigation systems, and dispatching devices; and Job-based: interactions of passenger in buses and In addition, the net effect of in-vehicle communications trucks. devices needs to be taken into account. For example, cell External sources phones are enablers for the Amber Alert program, and the Weigh-in-motion or vehicle-in-motion inspections. provision of traffic mobility information through 511 sys- tems and hands-free devices have been shown to have a pro- tective (i.e., safety-enhancing) stimulative effect on drivers APPROACH (Olson et al. 2009). The study began with a literature review to assess recent To assess the state of research and practice in this respect research and current issues. Based on the results of the liter- was the purpose of this synthesis study, which drew on the large ature review, a screening survey was developed that was dis- body of research that has focused on the many facets of dis- tributed to motor carrier and motor coach managers. The tracted driving, as well as through structured interviews with screening survey identified those fleet managers who were fleet representatives and manufacturers of related products. willing to participate in the structured interview portion of the project. Interviews were held with these fleet managers to This safety synthesis project focused on both truck and understand their views of distracted driving and any counter- bus drivers. measures they have put in place to reduce the risk of crashes related to distraction. The conclusions of this report were The goals of the study were to: (1) review related literature, developed from the literature review, screening survey results, with a particular focus on countermeasures for driver distrac- and structured interviews.