POWER OF DATA BLOG

What Will Really Deter People From Engaging in Distracted Driving?

Changing Driver Behavior
Aug 28/2018 Published by: Lytx Lytx Telematics

This article has the feel of my August 2011 article, The Danger of a Cell Phone Policy without Enforcement. Safety training and education is typically the first line of defense in any safety program. Training and education programs provide information or knowledge. This is a necessary, but insufficient, safety intervention. People require knowledge regarding how to safely perform a behavior and/or that certain behaviors are unsafe. I think it’s a good assumption that most people are aware that distracted driving is dangerous. Thus, people do not have a knowledge gap, they have a motivation gap. More simply stated, people have knowledge that distracted driving is unsafe; however, they choose to engage in this behavior because it is rewarded in some way.

This motivation gap is evident in the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011). The NOPUS is an observation study where researchers are stationed at various intersections and record various driver behaviors (seat-belt use, cell phone use, etc.). Although many laws and educational campaigns regarding distracted driving have been implemented in recent years, the NOPUS found that cell phone use has remained relatively stable since 2002.

As I pointed out in my August 2011 article, the laws themselves are not to blame, but rather the lack of effective enforcement. A recent study I completed (Hickman et al., in press) using DriveCam data evaluated the effectiveness of State cell phone laws and fleet cell phone policies. The data clearly showed that fleet cell phone policies were effective in reducing cell phone use while driving; however, the State cell phone laws had no effect on driver behavior. The DriveCam system allowed these fleets to accurately monitor their drivers and implement consequences or rewards that would directly impact the driver. A high visibility enforcement campaign in New York supported this hypothesis (Cogrove et al., 2011). The message is clear, a policy is only as effective as your ability to enforce the policy; otherwise it’s like having no policy.

Previous research suggests that laws themselves may not alter long-term behavior change, but the key to affecting change is how strictly these laws are enforced and/or the perception of these laws being enforced (resulting in driver adherence to the laws). For example, Kim (1991) and Campbell (1988) found a relationship between the frequency of seat-belt citations and observed seat-belt use. Chaudhary, Soloman and Cosgrove (2004) showed that the perception of being ticketed for a seat-belt infraction was enough to alter safety-belt use. Thus, proper enforcement (i.e., increased fines and/or police presence) would be expected to be necessary for the law to be effective.

Seat-belt use is a great comparison with distracted driving. Today, seat-belt use hovers around 90%; however, in the 80s it was barely at 50% usage. With increased educational and enforcement campaigns over the years, wearing your seat belt while driving has become part of our driving culture. Seat-belt use is an almost automatic behavior – we “buckle-up” as soon as we sit in our cars. It’s likely that a similar effort over a similar period of time will be required for attentive driving to become part of our driving culture.

———————————————————-

Dr. Hickman joined the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in 2004 and became the Group  Leader for the Behavioral Analysis and Applications group in 2009.  He has significant experience in the design, delivery, and implementation of safety and health improvement interventions using behavior-based and person-based psychology and human factors applications.  His primary areas of research include community-wide (large scale) applications of behavior-based safety, self-management, and organizational culture change techniques as well as assessing driver behavior, fatigue, work/rest cycles, and driver distraction in commercial motor operations. Although specializing in commercial motor vehicle safety, Dr. Hickman’s research interests are broadly defined as occupational health and safety.

Dr. Hickman has been the PI, Co-PI, or Project Manager in 35 research projects (totaling over $10 million).  These research projects include competitive research awards from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mine Health and Safety Administration, National Transportation Research Center, Inc., Transportation Research Board, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety. Dr. Hickman has over 60 professional presentations, including invited talks at Duke Energy, Sherwin-Williams, National Private Truck Council, Maersk, Pike Energy Corporation, and XL Insurance. Dr. Hickman has over 30 scientific publications and technical reports, served as a scientific reviewer for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in fiscal year 2012, and currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Accident Analysis and Prevention, and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.


Related Tags

Driver Coaching Driver Safety

Related Blog Posts

Sep 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Changing Habits by Retraining Muscle Memory

Staff Writer

Sep 03 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Risk is a Consequential Matter

Staff Writer

Sep 01 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Innovation as a Business Focus

Staff Writer

Aug 20 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

What Professional Drivers Learn From Their Coaches

Staff Writer

Jul 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Big Data, Better Drivers

Staff Writer

Feb 25 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Why Cheaper Gas Prices Could Put Your Safety At Risk

Staff Writer

Nov 03 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Adjusting to Standard Time

Del Lisk

Sep 15 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Driver Appreciation Week

Staff Writer

Sep 05 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Distracted Driving Forecast: Sunny with a chance of collision?

Del Lisk

Nov 02 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx: The Power of Data Blog

Staff Writer

Apr 04 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Video Telematics: Seeing is Believing

Del Lisk

Jul 25 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

There are No Short-Term Initiatives … that Work!

Del Lisk

Mar 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Is Distracted Driving Decreasing or Are We Hiding Distractions?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 26 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Following Too Closely

Del Lisk

Nov 29 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Habits

Michael Richter

Mar 15 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: The Most Common Risky Driving Behaviors

Del Lisk

Dec 22 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Looking Farther Down the Road

Del Lisk

Nov 23 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

One Simple Step to Reducing Truck Crashes

Del Lisk

Oct 24 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Blind Trust

Del Lisk

Jan 03 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Danger in the Parking Lot

Del Lisk

Feb 01 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Make Driving a Game

Del Lisk

Oct 10 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Safety Culture: What is it and How does it Affect Fleet Safety?

Global Administrator

Sep 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Thank a Truck Driver (or two)

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

The Dangers of an Open Lane

Del Lisk

Feb 02 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

How do you define ‘behavior’?

Caroline Hurst

Sep 20 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Lorry Driving: one of the UK’s riskiest jobs

Paul Jones

Oct 22 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx – Proud Supporters of Brake Road Safety Week

Caroline Hurst

Apr 19 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Reading between the guidelines

Caroline Hurst

Sep 05 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Prevention is the Best Cure

Caroline Hurst

Nov 03 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

The positive feedback loop

Caroline Hurst

May 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Retraining to Retain Your Drivers

Staff Writer

May 25 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Taking the Risk Out of One of the Riskiest Professions

Staff Writer

Jun 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Heinrich’s Pyramid Challenge: 190 to 1 in an Instant

Staff Writer

Jun 03 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Hands-Free Phones Still Lead to Distractions & Collisions

Staff Writer

Jun 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Who – or What -- Does the Heavy Lifting to Improve CSA Scores?

Staff Writer

Jul 07 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Top 3 Ways Proactive Fleet Managers Build a Safety Program

Staff Writer

Jul 27 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

Staff Writer

Jul 29 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Driving for the Limits of Automated Technology

Brandon Nixon

Aug 24 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Unsafe Drivers Are Often the Biggest Fuel Offenders

Staff Writer

Sep 26 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: The Dangers Lurking Inside Your Fleet

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Hallmark of a Successful Video-based Safety Program

Staff Writer

Nov 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: Putting a Stop to Rolling Stops

Staff Writer

Nov 09 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 1: Manual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 15 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 2: Visual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Distracted Driving Behaviors – and How to Solve Them – Part 3 Cognitive Distractions

Staff Writer

Jan 10 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Three Things That Put Teeth in Your Safety Policy

Staff Writer

Feb 01 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Effective Video Review: Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

High-Efficiency Driving: Five Driver Behaviors that Reduce Cost

Staff Writer

Mar 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Part 2: Using DriveCam® Event Data to Drive More Effective Coaching

Staff Writer

Apr 14 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part One: Levels of Automation

Staff Writer

Apr 18 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part Two: Impact on Drivers, Fleets and the Industry

Staff Writer

Jun 07 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Swift Guide to Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Jun 30 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Practical Guide to Coaching Through Conflict

Staff Writer

Jul 06 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Putting Positivity Behind Your Training Program Will Pay Off

Beth Geraci

Jul 13 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Mobile Fire Department - Lytx Coach of the Year

Beth Geraci

Aug 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Fear of Autonomous Vehicles – Loving of Autonomous Features

Staff Writer

Aug 31 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Is Your Rewards Program a Bust? Get a New Approach

Staff Writer

Sep 08 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Video Event Recorders Can Protect One’s Livelihood

Beth Geraci

Sep 15 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Components of Effective Accountability Systems

Staff Writer

Sep 22 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

What’s Out There: Three Rewards Programs That Work

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Worst 'Crash' Ever

Staff Writer

Oct 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Can We Reverse the Trend of Road Fatalities? New Figures Give One Safety Official Hope.

Beth Geraci

Nov 03 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Daylight Saving Time: More Light Has a Dark Side for Road Safety

Beth Geraci

Nov 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Sources of Aggressive Driving and What You Can Do About It

Staff Writer

Nov 29 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Gunning It: 6 Facts on Why to Avoid Hard Accelerations

Beth Geraci

Jan 15 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Navigating the Risks of Navigation Devices

Beth Geraci

Jan 22 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Four Ways the DriveCam Program Backs Up Drivers

Beth Geraci

Feb 16 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Reflections on Using Mirrors When Driving

Beth Geraci

Mar 09 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Shedding Light on How Daylight Saving Time Impacts Road Safety

Beth Geraci

Mar 16 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

6 Defensive Driving Tips for St. Patrick’s Day

Beth Geraci

Mar 29 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Driver of the Year Embraces Safety Technology

Beth Geraci

May 03 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Driving Coach Can Bring A Human Approach to the Vision Zero Initiative

Staff Writer

May 08 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

When Safety Is a Family Affair, Work-Related Injuries Can Be Avoided

Beth Geraci

May 14 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Top Tips from A Top Driving Coach

Beth Geraci

Jul 11 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A 3-Step Guide to Proactive Coaching for Fleet Managers

Beth Geraci

Jul 31 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Man Who Takes Fleet Driver Safety to Heart

Global Administrator

Aug 08 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

National Truck Driving Championships: Roping a Win for Fleet Safety

Beth Geraci

Aug 22 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

3 Ways the American Safety Council Helps Keep Roads Safer

Staff Writer

Oct 15 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Near-Collision and Near-Miss Analysis Matters

Staff Writer

Nov 07 / 2018Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Drowsy Driving Prevention Strategies

Staff Writer