The impact of driver distraction in tractor-trailers and motorcoach buses.

Research paper by Rebecca L RL Hammond Olson, Susan A SA Soccolich, Richard J RJ Hanowski

Indexed on: 04 Apr '18Published on: 04 Apr '18Published in: Accident Analysis & Prevention


Driver distraction has become an increasing concern over the last decade as portable technology has emerged and its presence while driving has become more common. Driver distraction occurs when inattention leads to a delay in recognition of information necessary to accomplish the driving task. Two recent studies were conducted using a naturalistic data collection method and analysis of driver distraction. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Distraction study (Olson et al., 2009) was conducted using heavy truck data, and the Distraction and Drowsiness in Motorcoach Drivers study (Hammond et al., 2016) was conducted using motorcoach data. Data were collected continuously every time the instrumented vehicle was turned on and in motion. Data were reduced to identify safety-critical events such as crashes, near-crashes, crash-relevant conflicts, and unintentional lane deviations. Results show that 40% of truck crashes and 56% of motorcoach crashes had some kind of distracting behavior. Odds ratios were calculated on individual secondary tasks and analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were calculated on eye-glance data to determine the effects of eyes off the forward roadway. Fewer distractions were identified in the motorcoach data, most notably the use of handheld cell phones. This suggests that the 2010 ban on handheld phones has had a positive effect on decreasing cell phone use while driving. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.