Fleet Safety

What Are the 3 Main Types of Driving Distractions?

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We’ve heard a lot about distracted driving since cell phones have grown in popularity. Many people attribute the rise in distracted driving to the use of cell phones, and while this is true to an extent, a wide variety of distractions can cause danger on the road. The CDC has studied distracted driving extensively and categorized the problem into three distinct types. Let’s discuss the three types of distracted driving and how you can ensure they don’t cause problems for your fleet. 

The Three Categories of Distracted Driving

As we’ve mentioned, these three categories have been defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and can be outlined quite simply: 

  • Visual Distraction: when a driver takes their eyes off the road
  • Manual Distraction: when a driver takes their hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive Distraction: when a driver takes their mind off driving

Now that we’ve defined these three types let’s review examples of everyday distractions and how the CDC would categorize them.

If a driver looks at a text while the vehicle is in motion, that would be considered a visual distraction. It can also be a manual distraction if they pick up the phone. 

When drivers try to operate a vehicle under high stress, anger, or tiredness, that’s a cognitive distraction. 

Eating while driving, a common problem among fleet drivers is considered a manual distraction. 

Now we know the three types of distracted driving, but how significant are these problems?

Distracted Driving Statistics

Various institutions have performed many studies regarding distracted driving to reduce the problem. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for some of these studies and has found some startling information: 

  • Distracted driving was a factor in 8.1% of fatal accidents.
  • 20% of accident-related injuries involved a distracted driver.
  • In 2015, 3,477 people were killed by distracted driving.
  • In the same year, 391,000 people were injured. 
  • Drivers admitted to being distracted by their phones 10% of the time while driving. 

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

Technology has come a long way in the past decades, and while some of these innovations have led to more distractions, we can also use new technology to combat the issue. How can we accomplish this?

Dash Cams

We often talk about dash cams on this blog, and for good reason. They have a multitude of uses in fleet operations. Azuga’s SafetyCam has AI capabilities that help you detect issues before they cause an accident. Some of what our dash cams catch include: 

  • Eating and Drinking
  • Using Phone
  • Smoking
  • Wearing Mask
  • Yawning / Fatigue
  • Face not visible
  • Not Focused

Cell Phone Blocking

We obviously want to limit our drivers' use of cell phones while they are on the road. But how can we accomplish this without being in the passenger seat next to them? Cell phone blocking apps are the way to go. 

Azuga’s DriveSafe add-on is one example of this technology at work. Once you’ve defined your cell phone usage policy, you can set parameters in Azuga to monitor or block unauthorized activity. 

Keep Your Fleet Safe with Azuga

At Azuga, we offer comprehensive fleet management software that covers all the bases regarding fleet management. This includes the most important aspect – safety. With our dash cams, maintenance alerts, monitoring, and add-ons, you can create a robust safety policy, enforce it, and monitor your progress. Schedule a demo today with one of our experts to learn more about what you can do.