Driver Behavior Management: An Integrated Approach (Part 1)

We recently hosted a webinar with Matt Camden from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) on improving fleet safety with driver behavior monitoring (DBM). In case you missed it, we wanted to give an overview of the topics discussed, as well as some key takeaways you can bring back to your team for further discussion.


In the webinar, Matt dove deep into three major themes: 1) What are risky driving behaviors? 2) Do driver monitoring systems improve safety? 3) How to succeed with a driver monitoring system

In this blog post, we are going to dig into the first theme: identifying risky driving behaviors.

Risky driving behaviors contribute to 90 percent of vehicle accidents. The primary behaviors contributing to crashes are:

  1. Decision errors - Poor decisions on the driver’s part such as speeding, following a vehicle too closely, or driving recklessly given the road conditions.
  2. Recognition errors - Inattentiveness to what is happening outside the vehicle or being distracted inside the vehicle. Examples include not noticing the vehicle in front of you braking quickly or being distracted by a passenger in the vehicle.
  3. Performance errors - An error related to the driver’s control of the vehicle such as overcompensating on a turn or panicking during an emergency event.
  4. Non-performance errors - A non-driving related error on the driver’s part such as falling asleep or having a health-related emergency behind the wheel.


The table above is based on VTTI research and shows top risky driving behaviors along with the associated increased risk of an accident and the prevalence of the risky behavior. Aggressive driving is among the riskiest types of driving behaviors with 34.8 times greater likelihood of an accident. However, it’s also one of the least frequent behaviors. The most prevalent risky behavior is speeding with 12.8 times greater likelihood of an accident.


VTTI also conducted research on distracted driving behaviors, measuring the prevalence and the impact on the chance of a crash. Of the distracted driving behaviors observed, the act of dialing on a handheld phone multiplies the likelihood of a crash 12.2 times. Even simply talking on a handheld phone increases the risk of an accident 2.2 times.

Clearly our surroundings and our actions in the vehicle influence our driving performance and attention on the road. As a result of our own behavior, we can increase our chance of getting into an accident by 35 times.

So, how do we combat this? One popular solution being explored is driver behavior monitoring systems. This technology can track driver behavior and identify risky behaviors.

In part two of this blog post, we will explore whether DBM systems actually improve safety. Stay tuned!

This blog post is based on the webinar Improving Fleet Safety with Driver Behavior Monitoring Systems, which you can watch here.

Jessie Robinson

comments powered by Disqus