Aegis Mobility's partner in Australia - Go Technologies - is providing product demonstrations of the FleetSafer solution at the International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show in Melbourne. For those of you interested in finding a safe driving technology solution to prevent distracted driving, be sure to stop by the Go Tech booth @ GP51 April 5th & 6th, 2014.
I just landed back in Vancouver today, fresh from participating in and presenting at the Employer Cell Phone Distracted Driving Seminar put on by the National Safety Council at the San Diego Convention Center yesterday. Being in the business of providing solutions to address the problem of distracted driving, I consider myself to be relatively well informed on the subject, but I came away from the conference having learned a lot. I was extremely impressed by the content, the quality of the presenters and the commitment and engagement of the attendees. I am thankful to have been a part of this important event. A few lasting impressions that the seminar had on me:
- This can impact anyone. I think most people understand the risks of distracted driving, but research suggests that few people are willing to adjust their own behaviour. Maybe human nature is to think of the problem as happening to others? Well, I had the opportunity to meet three people at the conference, people like me with families like mine, who shared their own tragedies related to distracted driving and who made me realize that this can impact anyone.
- Bringing about change takes courage. I was extremely impressed by the examples of courage, both from the presenters and the participants in the audience, who were willing to be leaders in changing behaviours related to distracted driving, even though that change can often be met with resistance and reluctance. I use as example National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman, Deborah Hersman, who delivered the keynote address at the seminar and who imposed a complete ban on the use of cell phones for all NTSB employees in 2009, including herself. It makes it hard to argue that you can’t “afford” to be unreachable while driving when leaders like Chairman Hersman show that you can. Furthermore, Dave Teater of the NSC presented some compelling studies on productivity in companies who banned cell phone use in vehicles – it may just change your bias.
- Distracted driving involves more than just cars. I was stunned to hear examples of distracted driving incidences in trains, planes and boats [PDF].
And least expected:
- Technology plays an important role in addressing the issue. Technology, specifically Aegis Mobility's FleetSafer® product line, was a visible part of the solution to addressing the issue of distracted driving as a complement to corporate safe driving policies and practices. Not only does the Aegis solution ensure compliance with safe driving policies, but by automatically detecting the driving state and silencing all alerts, messages and calls, the Aegis products make it easy for employees to comply with safe driving policies and eliminate both the temptation and anxiety associated with connected devices.
I was very proud to be representing a company that I feel is an important part of the solution and to be part of very thoughtful debate with remarkable people at the seminar. I want to congratulate all the speakers at the conference this week; you were all passionate and excellent and I learned something from each of you. Consider this my strong recommendation for anyone concerned about the costs, risks and liabilities associated with employee use of phones in vehicles while on the job to get out to the next NSC seminar on April 25th at the Long Beach Convention Center. For anyone that can’t make it I encourage you to spend some time with the wealth of resources on the topic of distracted driving provided by the NSC here.
This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at a conference in Houston, TX, entitled: Corporate Liability for Distracted Driving: Law, Science and Solutions. The invitation-only event was hosted by Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial, LLC, a national trial firm specialized in defending corporate clients in high-exposure litigation.
Because this was a closed-door event, I can't go into detail on the contents of the event, the attendees, or the associated discussions. I can, however, share with you a high-level overview. The event was designed for CEOs, in-house counsel, risk managers and fleet safety managers, and the goal was to provide employers with a "real-world perspective" for understanding the rapidly evolving landscape of corporate risk and liability pertaining to employee use of mobile devices while driving on the job. The conference included presentations from industry experts on the following topics:
- The science behind distracted driving
- Telematics and accident reconstruction
- Risk management and policy considerations
- Litigation trends and concerns
- Insurance claims, costs and trends
- Technology solutions to manage risk and prevent distracted driving
Founded in 1913, the National Safety Council is a pioneer in helping companies and the public prevent unintentional injuries and deaths by providing leadership, research, education and advocacy to reduce risks and improve safety at work, at home and in communities.
To fulfill this mission, the NSC partners with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to focus where the most preventable injuries and deaths occur. As a result, the NSC has spearheaded many transportation safety initiatives, including those involving defensive driving, occupant restraints, speeding and drunk driving.
In 2009, with irrefutable evidence of the dangers of cell phone use in vehicles, the Council became the first organization to call for U.S. motorists to stop using all cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Active efforts are also underway with the governors and legislators in every state to ban the use of cell phones while driving.
In 2011, the NSC recognized that technology would be a powerful complement to regulatory action and behavioral change, and partnered with Aegis Mobility to promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving. The nation’s leading companies are now focused on increasing employee safety and reducing liability associated with their cars, buses, trucks and other fleet vehicles.
This year, on February 28 at the San Diego Convention Center and on April 25 at the Long Beach Convention Center, the NSC will sponsor a seminar to help corporations manage their distracted driving risks, covering:
- How employers can be held liable if an employee is involved in a crash where cell phone use was a factor.
- What to include in a cell phone policy.
- How to build management support for a cell phone policy.
- How to educate employees about the policy and ensure compliance.
For more information and to register, click here.
Tablets are the fastest ramping computer device in history. A large portion of the growth comes from enterprise mobile workforce automation projects. The tablet makes an excellent substitute for the laptop due to four primary factors:
- More convenient size for portability
- Easier in-vehicle docking
- Longer battery life
- Lower cost
Additionally the tablet can be used for navigation (saving approximately $1000 per vehicle by avoiding the built-in option).
However, along with these benefits comes a serious challenge. A tablet in a cradle in a vehicle becomes a source of serious distraction for a driver and presents a large potential liability for the corporation if the driver should have an accident. This problem is particularly acute given the potential of a large screen tablet to create the most significant forms of driver distraction:
- Visual - looking at something other than the road
- Manual - manipulating something other than the wheel
- Cognitive - thinking about something other than driving
Fortunately, there is a solution - FleetSafer automatically activates and deactivates "safe mode" when employees start and stop driving. During "safe mode", only "whitelisted" applications (such as navigation) are permitted. Such "whitelisted" applications can be easily customized to suit a company's policy.
Aegis was recently selected by a leading Fortune 50 enterprise to deploy FleetSafer to 10,000 service technicians. Aegis was chosen as the best product due to:
- SafeApp functionality in FleetSafer (ability to "whitelist" applications such as navigation)
- Detection accuracy for determining "start" and "stop" for driving
- Low battery drain (using patented and patent-pending algorithms for detection)
- Tamper resistance
- Ease of configuration, deployment and management
- Enterprise-class analytics and reporting