Study: Speeders are most likely texters

SmartDrive Systems, which completed a video analysis of fleet drivers, reports that drivers who speed are more than twice as likely to text when they drive. Other distractions such as speaking on handheld phones, accessing apps, eating and grooming were all greatly increased by drivers who were observed speeding.

The San Diego-based firm used a database of more than 220 million analyzed and scored driving events in their latest SmartIQ report, issued in April 2018. The report examined numerous types of driving infractions, noting that speeding was the best indicator of other bad behaviors. The report found that speeders are 54 percent more likely to cross the median or center line of the road, more likely to fail to comply with stop signs and red lights, and more likely to engage in unsafe lane changing, merging, passing and braking.

According to the National Safety Council, 2016 saw a 6 percent increase in driving fatalities over 2015, which was 14 percent higher than 2014. This was the most dramatic two-year escalation since 1964, a 53-year span.

It has been surmised that this escalation of fatalities is due to the now ubiquitous use of smartphones. The National Safety Council also cites that 1 out of every 3 crashes on our roadways have smartphone distractions as a contributing factor. This may be an underreported number as many police reports do not cite or do not know the role a cellphone played in a vehicle accident.

Fleet vehicles and company cars will use telematics to try and monitor the speed of drivers. Fewer companies utilize technology, such as FleetMode, to block use of smartphone by drivers when they drive. Though companies may know of offenders in speed and distractions, not all companies are willing to take the steps needed to curtail these dangerous behaviors.

FleetMode is an industry leader in preventing texting and driving by blocking cellphone distractions, according to its news release on May 7. It is used by the second largest fleet in the U.S. as well as many smaller companies. A study done by a major telecommunication company showed that FleetMode reduced crashes in their fleet by 31 percent; reducing distractions will reduce crashes.

The SmartDrive report was conducted by utilizing the SmartDrive database of over 220 million analyzed driving events and the accompanying telematics data. The study focused on four different types of speeding observations:

¯ Moderate speeding (less than 10 mph over limit)

¯ Excessive speeding (greater than 10 mph over limit)

¯ Exceeded maximum fleet speed

¯ Attained extreme speed (85-plus mph or 10 mph over max fleet speed).

Only private fleet, for-hire and specialty trucking customers were included in this study. The information in this article comes from Mark Brisson, marketing and PR Manager for FleetMode in Mount Dora, Florida.

So, be very cautious of speeders — they may also be texting or engaged in other driving distractions and not paying due attention to the task of driving.

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