Thought Leadership: Driven to distraction – how technology and regulations are “overloading” drivers
Have you ever had that discussion where your partner insists ‘I told you’, and you are equally adamant that ‘no you didn’t’? The most likely scenario is they did tell you but you were distracted at the time. In a similar way, drivers overloaded by expanding technology and regulations are being driven to distraction, which can have a major impact on safety.
In the past five years, there have been almost 300 instances in Melbourne of trucks hitting bridges that are too low for the vehicle to pass under. With most trucks having sensors alerting the driver to the impending crash, how is it possible that the driver didn’t respond to the alert or didn’t see the bridge?
According to Dr Lucia Kelleher, who has spent the past decade working with transport and other safety-critical industries, drivers are simply distracted at the critical moment and their brain fails to register the alert or impending danger. Two contributing causes of that distraction are the growing influence of technology in our daily lives and the level of regulation drivers and the industry are exposed to.