Cogosense Blog

Cogosense's Driver Behaviour Blog

FleetSafer Ensures Responsible Use of Tablet Computers in Fleet of 10,000 Vehicles

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:

  1. More convenient size for portability
  2. Easier in-vehicle docking
  3. Longer battery life
  4. 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.

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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

To learn more about how FleetSafer can help your organization deploy workforce automation solutions without compromising safety, read more customer success stories and schedule a demo today!

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Distracted Driving Year In Review: Did Your Company Learn the $21 Million Lesson?

In May 2012, a jury in Texas handed down a $21 million verdict against Coca-Cola for damages arising from an August 2010 distracted driving crash involving one of its employees using a mobile phone while driving. As we head into 2013, here are three important lessons commercial risk and fleet managers can learn from this historic case:

  1. When it happens to you, the plaintiffs will sue:  Thomas J Henry, the lead plaintiff's attorney said in a press release, "From the time I took the Coca-Cola driver's testimony and obtained the company's inadequate cell phone driving policy, I knew we had a corporate giant with a huge safety problem on our hands."  Furthermore, he said, "I hope the verdict sends a message to corporate America that you can't have employees on a cell phone and endanger the motoring public."The lesson is simple: plaintiffs are watching and waiting to sue employers whenever employees crash due to a cell phone related distractions.
  2. A written cell phone use policy is not enough:  The plaintiff successfully argued that Coca-Cola’s cell phone policy for its delivery drivers was “vague and ambiguous” and it wasn't enforced in any meaningful way. Simply stated, if written policies are not enforced, then written policies will not minimize employer risk and liability.
  3. Policy enforcement is critical: Case law in the US clearly shows that employers should expect to be held accountable for damages that occur when employees drive distracted. Therefore, to truly reduce risk in the eyes of a jury, a company should consider utilizing technology best practices to actively or passively encourage safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving.

As we close out 2012 and head into 2013, the year ahead promises mobile devices than ever in the hands of employee drivers.

Whether employees use the devices in a safe and legal manner while driving is entirely up to the employer. Fleet operators who stand by and do nothing will be sued and vicariously implicated by juries when the inevitable crashes occur. Fleets who adopt policies, conduct training and utilize best practices to encourage compliance will save lives and dramatically reduce risk and liability.

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