News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Last Updated: Mon, April 15, 2019
Distraction is the nemesis of anyone trying to observe safe driving practices. We all know that. Cellphones, GPSs, ELDs, lane-change warnings, etc., all contribute to taking away a truck driver's attention while on the road.
But what many don't realize is that the problem goes much deeper than being distracted by gadgets and such. There is actually a science behind this, and it has a name – inattentional blindness.
The short version of what inattentional blindness means is that it is simply concentrating on one thing while driving while something else is happening right under our noses. The driver could literally be staring right at something, but the brain doesn't "see" it or register that it is there.
FleetOwner.com explains that this phenomenon got a name back in 1992 when researchers at MIT labeled it attentional blindness. Over the years, the name morphed into inattentional blindness, but the psychological process is the same.
They performed experiments that showed our vision was controlled by what we were focusing on in our "mind's eye," to the detriment of seeing what was actually there.
They offered the example of a truck driver sitting at an intersection, concentrating on traffic, waiting to make a left turn, but then who nearly hits a motorcycle that was right in front of him. Even though the truck driver knew the motorcycle was there, his inattentional blindness temporarily blotted out that fact in favor of concentrating on making a safe left turn.
And that defect in our seeing also has a name – Looked-but-failed-to-see, or LBFTS.
The classic LBFTS test is available as a video on YouTube. View the short video, then leave comments on the forum about your experience.
The neurological and psychological reasoning for this is because our brains are not wired to process every single bit of stimulus impinging on our senses. Without this cognitive filter we would be overwhelmed by information and be unable to perform at all.
The matter is made worse in the modern truck cab, as well, by a driver giving his attention to those aforementioned gadgets; which is ironic considering many of them are in place to add to safety, not to distract from it.
Inattentional blindness is also exacerbated by conditions somewhat unique to commercial drivers. Most drivers are familiar with a phenomenon that has been dubbed white-line fever, or highway hypnosis. That's where the monotony of driving for long periods on a boring stretch of highway causes the driver to become inattentive or easily distracted.
Not surprisingly, motorcycles have become the "lab rats" of inattentional blindness research. That's because, "Motorcycles appear to be very low on the priority list for the brain when it is filtering information," according to Human Factors researcher Kristen Pammer, as reported in a Science Daily article.
She said that drivers will look in the direction of an oncoming motorcycle, even looking directly at one, and still pull out into its path. Apparently, after our brains prioritize all of the sensory data it assigns a low priority to the presence of a motorcycle. It becomes "invisible."
The obvious solution, according to Pammer, is that, "By putting motorcyclists higher on the brain 'radar' of the driver, hopefully drivers will be more likely to see them. In the meantime, we need to be more vigilant, more active, and more conscious when driving."
Beyond trying to become more vigilant to watching out for those motorcycles, there is not really a cure for inattentional blindness. Our bodies simply would not be able to function if our brains forced us to react to every single bit of stimulus our eyes took in.
DOT/CSA Insights provides this list of ways to try to counteract inattentive driving:
- Encourage “mindful driving.”
- Commercial drivers need to cultivate a proper attentive mindset.
- Drivers should not take any phone calls when driving.
- Train drivers in proper mapping and route planning techniques.
- Drivers should know how to manage breaks and take them when needed.
- Motors carriers need strict, enforced policies on driver use of new technologies while driving.
- Motors carriers need to investigate and deploy new technologies where appropriate for their particular operational needs.
- Motor carriers need Fatigue Management Programs, according to the NTSB.
Sources: Fleet Owner, Science Daily, DOT/CSA Insights, YouTube
Advice For New Truck Drivers
Safe Driving Tips