Institute releases findings on bus, truck driver distractions
Findings from a new naturalistic study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg show truck and bus drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash if they are reaching for or dialing a cell phone.
The study was based on data from 13,000 commercial motor vehicles collected over a one-year period. Data showed 1,075 crashes, 8,375 near crashes and 30,661 crash-relevant conflicts. Researchers concluded:
- The act of talking on a cell phone did not show an increased risk, although the steps drivers take to use their cell phone does increase crash risk.
- Truck and bus drivers who dialed a cell phone while operating their vehicle increased their odds by 3.5 times of being in a crash, compared with drivers who were not dialing a cell phone.
- The odds of being in a crash or safety-critical event were 1.1 times greater while the driver was using a cell phone than when the driver was not.