The supply chain crisis and nationwide driver shortage has resulted in a new federal apprenticeship program that will train drivers as young as 18 to drive multiton big rigs across state lines. The news has sparked concerns about the potential dangers associated with putting these younger drivers behind the wheel of such large vehicles with long driving hours. The program requires the young adults to complete 400 cumulative probationary hours with an experienced driver sitting passenger. This is great news for safety, but no matter the amount of training, distracted driving is an issue that requires active intervention after these young drivers finish their training.
While technology pushes societal progress toward innovation and new discoveries, advancement in technology has also led a growing number of people becoming overly dependent on their mobile devices. Today, the reward pathways in people’s brains are wired to release a rush of dopamine upon receiving cell phone notifications, similar to the effects of narcotics. When a driver’s brain is in an elevated reward state induced by notifications from their device, the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for judgment and reasoning shuts down. The rewiring of our brain’s circuitry and lack of self-control as a result of cell phone use characterizes the source of the problem: addiction. NoMoPhobia (a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity) is a growing social crisis today that has rapidly increased the number of impaired drivers on the road. In a report published in Forbes, a study found that people who are addicted to their phones spend 150% more time on the roads and drive 760% more miles than the average U.S. driver.
Younger drivers are impacted in greater numbers by technology addiction
For young people, it is harder to remember a time in their lives without devices like smartphones. With less experience on the road and more exposure to the influence of technology, younger drivers are more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior. Millennials and Gen Z are 32% more likely than Gen X or Boomers to cite their cellphones as the reason for their heightened distraction while driving.
Training, cameras, and mobile device policies are an important part of a fleet’s overall safety but do not actively intervene in the addiction that characterizes distracted driving. The Evvy system provides timely and actionable feedback combined with a rewards and scoring program that creates self-motivated improvement in driver performance; this approach has been shown to reduce distracted driving by up to 39% in just 30 days. Mandating a safety app like Motion Intelligence’s Evvy can create a comprehensive system that safely transitions these drivers to transporting cargo across state lines while preventing dangerous driving behavior and protecting young people, fleets, and pedestrian drivers.
While driver shortages remain a major bottleneck in the global supply chain crisis, mandating a safe driving app like Motion Intelligence’s Evvy App can help provide transport services that can alleviate the strain felt by communities across the country. With a strong fleet safety culture, driver retention, and active intervention in dangerous driving behavior, fleets can operate safer and more efficiently.
Learn more about how mandating safe driving apps like our Evvy technology can help protect fleets and younger drivers!