Massachusetts Commercial Vehicle Driver Distraction Demonstration Project

The Massachusetts Commercial Vehicle Driver Distraction Demonstration Project had the overarching objective of preventing commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver distraction, specifically texting and cell phone use, thus reducing such crashes among CMV drivers in Massachusetts. Specific attributes of the project included conducting 1) extensive problem identification of specific driver distraction crash characteristics including the selection of high-risk traffic areas, 2) a public information and education (PI & E) campaign, 3) high visibility enforcement and 4) evaluation by means of a direct observation survey among CMV drivers before and after the demonstration project. The project was funded through a High Priority grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA) to assist the FMCSA with their goal to reduce the number of truck-related fatalities to no more than 0.121 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The study found that although there has been a decrease in the total number of CMV crashes, injuries and fatalities in Massachusetts, there has been an increase in reported CMV crashes involving distraction as well as those with CMV drivers with fault of distraction.