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The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI) was recently released and, amongst its findings, concluded:

  • Nearly 90% of respondents say that distracted drivers are a somewhat or much bigger risk today than three years ago
  • Approximately 95% of respondents said that texting or emailing while driving is perceived as a somewhat or very serious threat to their personal safety

And, yet, despite this conscious awareness of the danger, more than a third of respondents admit to reading messages in the past 30 days while driving.

This "Do as I Say, Not as I Do" attitude continues to be a fundamental issue that affects the safety of our roadways.

Aegis is addressing the problem with solutions that automatically place a device in safe mode while driving and eliminate dangerous distractions until the vehicle has stopped moving.

The full AAA TSCI report for 2013 can be found here.

 

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State Farm's fifth annual survey was released this week and underscores some alarming statistics over the last 5 years (2009-2013):

  • Reading email while driving has increased from 15% to 24%
  • Reading social media while driving has almost doubled from 9% to 17%
  • Accessing the Internet while driving has reached almost 1/4 of all drivers (up from 13% in 2009)

As smartphones become omnipresent in our lives, the temptation to use them while driving continues to grow.

Fortunately, 74 percent of drivers surveyed strongly agree with laws or regulations prohibiting texting or emailing behind the wheel. However, more than half believe that laws governing cell phone use while driving are enforced to little or no extent.

Almost half of survey respondents were extremely likely to support technology that would prevent texting or emailing on a cell phone while driving.

At Aegis, we have just announced that our technology innovations that have become the standard for protecting corporate fleets, in FleetSafer, will be offered for young drivers and families as TeenSafer. The Sate of Iowa Department of Transport is leading the way with their partnership with Aegis to develop TEXTL8R to be made available for free to young drivers in the State of Iowa in the first half of 2014.

See the full State Farm survey results here.

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The GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) just released their 2013 Distracted Driving Survey of the States.

The main take-away is that there has been an overall increase in states enacting and enforcing laws and an improvement in data being collected compared to 2010 survey. Awareness continues to grow about the dangers of distracted driving, along with partnerships between public and private companies to help promote safety.

Download the survey report.

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Groundbreaking new research published yesterday by the AAA Foundation for Highway Safety finds that the process of using your voice to author a text or email message is so taxing on your brain that you're significantly more likely to crash, even if your hands are on the wheel and eyes are on the road.

I think the timing of the AAA study is ironic for two reasons.

First, it comes at a time when automakers across the world are engaged in an "arms race" to introduce more and more voice-activated systems to satisfy growing consumer demand for staying connected to the web while driving.

Second, it comes the day after Google spent $1 billion to acquire Waze a social networking mobile app that people use while driving to avoid traffic and find the fastest route to a destination. NOTE: If you haven't used Waze yet, take a look to see for yourself how useful it can be, and just how much it demands driver attention.

So what's next?

How will the automobile manufacturers react? Will they stop pushing hands-free technologies into cars?

What will mobile technology giants like Google, Apple, Samsung and others do? Will they cease to develop applications that appeal to people while driving?

In my opinion, despite the powerful conclusions of this new research, i don't think anything will change near term. The demand among consumers for the mobile web is so great that auto-makers and app-makers will do what they're designed to do...push forward in an attempt to satisfy market demand.

The good news is that innovative solutions already exist to promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving.  And these solutions, like everything else, will continue to evolve and improve over time to help balance and manage competing desires for "mobile productivity" with "vehicle safety".

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The numbers don't lie.  Employees who use hand held mobile devices while driving pose significant financial liability to their employers.

According to FMCSA data compiled and presented by Peoplenet there has been a steady and rapid increase in fines issued to truck drivers and carriers for various violations of the new regulations that prohibit hand held use of mobile devices while driving commercial vehicles.

The data is summarized below and reveals the following monthly fines have been issued thus far in 2013:

  • Jan = $1,614,250
  • Feb = $4,081,000
  • Mar = $6,688,000
  • Apr = $10,070,500

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The message is clear.  Drivers and carriers who ignore the rules can expect to pay a significant fine and suffer the consequences of having higher CSA basic scores.

Alternatively, drivers and carriers who are proactive can leverage innovative technology to promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving on the job.

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