Mobile Device Homicide Behind The Wheel
Distracted Driving is something even I am guilty of. Various voice solutions on the main mobile platforms are starting to assist with hands free support in vehicles, but at times it still doesn’t appear to be perfect and very dangerous to do when driving down the street or highway in a half-ton moving object.
As the continued usage of mobile devices increase, a higher number of consumers use devices while driving. This carries directly over to corporate usage, as more companies deploy mobile devices to their workforce. In the United States, increased local, state and federal legislation ban some or all use of mobile devices while driving.
At this time no state bans all cellphone use — handheld and hands-free — for all drivers. But nine ban using handheld devices; 38 states and the District of Columbia prohibit text messaging for all drivers; and 30 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by new drivers.
In the United States several high-profile lawsuits and settlements have recently occurred in the past 6 months against companies that have field service personal that were involved in driving fatalities. The position has previously been that if corporate policies were in place and acknowledged by employees, the companies could be perceived as exempt for direct liability.
Examples and references:
Jury Awards $21 million to Woman Struck by Coca Cola Truck in Distracted Driving Case
Companies weigh risks of distracted driving
Enbridge Energy Partners and its driving policy
US Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
A new trend appears to be emerging where policies and potential systems must be put in place to exempt liability.
Several solutions are now available on the market to assist corporations with various levels of distracted driving management. Examples include in no certain order or preference (ping me if you know of others):
- Zoom Safer - http://zoomsafer.com/products/fleetsafer/vision/
- Zoom Safer - http://zoomsafer.com/products/fleetsafer/mobile/
- CellControl - http://www.cellcontrol.com/
- LocationLabs - http://www.locationlabs.com/
- Illume Software - http://getizup.com/index.php/Enterprise
On the consumer side, I think it will just be a matter of time before insurance companies will fully embrace this type of technology (trails are already underway), and discounts or mandates will be commonplace.
The US government has been calling Distracted Driving an dangerous epidemic since 2009, and with good cause. http://www.distraction.gov/
Drive safe and not distracted!