Cogosense Blog

Cogosense's Driver Behaviour Blog

Pedestrian Killed By Distracted Officer

I spotted this story in the news today, another incident of driver distraction taking a life.

'I'm done, I'm done. I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' Mountie wailed as pedestrian he struck was dying nearby

I quote from the article “[RCMP Constable] Luk made a spontaneous admission to him at the scene, saying, “High rate of speed ... Looked at MDT (mobile data terminal computer in front seat) ... Didn’t see anyone crossing the road.”

It wasn’t a cell phone in this case, it was a MDT (Mobile Device Terminal), but to me it is a sobering reminder for all of us that taking your eyes of the road for even a fleeting moment can be deadly.

According to distraction.gov, the official US government website for distracted driving:

“Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field, blindfolded.”

After reading this story today I was even more aware on my commute that despite these constant reminders of the dangers of distracted driving and the laws in my area against the use of hand held electronic devices while driving, I still see people texting while driving. 

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My Favorite FleetSafer Customer Success Stories

2012 was an exercise in "crossing the chasm" for innovators offering software to help fleets ensure safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving on the job.  Indeed, the bridge to tomorrow is built upon key customer relationships where employers have taken a true leadership position on the issue of distracted driving.

Go here to learn more and see for yourself how these corporate fleet leaders are working to make the roads safer for themselves and everyone around them.

Do whats right choose fleetsafer

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Ray Lahood's Legacy: An Entrepreneur's Perspective

Today is a somber day for anyone even remotely affiliated with efforts to improve US traffic safety.  The reason is because Ray Lahood, a true champion of highway safety, announced that he is leaving as the Secretary of Transportation as soon as his successor is found.

Mr. Lahood, a former school teacher and Republican congressman from Illinois, was confirmed by the US Senate on January 21, 2009.  His confirmation as Secretary of Transportation occurred exactly three weeks after I co-founded ZoomSafer, a technology company dedicated to developing software for mobile devices to prevent distracted driving.

With that backdrop in mind I'd like to share 5 observations on Mr. Lahood's tenure as Secretary of Transportation and what it meant to me as an innovator and entrepreneur.

  1. It's better to be lucky than good.  The old adage is especially true for an entrepreneur who is starting a new business.  And, in regards to ZoomSafer, we were very lucky that Secretary Lahood entered the picture and immediately engaged in a passionate and high-profile fight to end distracted driving.  He created a stage, not only for himself, but for many others to talk candidly about the incredible risks associated with mobile device use while driving.
  2. Shockingly, gridlock can be a good thing.  In the beginning of his tenure, LaHood worked closely with President Obama to stimulate the ailing economy through transportation construction projects including the development of high-speed rail systems.  But both efforts were stalemated when Republicans regained control of the House in the 2010.  In the face of congressional gridlock, Lahood focused his attention on improving highway safety, with an emphasis on preventing distracted driving.
  3. History repeats itself (maybe).  The "national epidemic" known as distracted driving was seen by Lahood as similar to other behaviors commonly exhibited by US motorists in years past.  Lahood made this point repeatedly when he drew comparisons to successful efforts to increase seat belt use in the 1970's.  If the nation could learn to wear seat belts, then certainly it could learn to put down the cell phone.  At least that's how the thinking went.
  4. Regulations matter.  As the top federal regulator of the transportation industry, Mr. Lahood was fighting to prevent distracted driving on both the consumer and commercial fronts.  On the consumer front, which consists of 200 million motorists, Mr. Lahood traveled to Detroit to encourage automakers to use their advertising budgets to help spread the word  and he worked with NHTSA to introduce guidelines for auto makers that would limit distractions associated with in-vehicle computer systems.  On the commercial front, Mr. Lahood worked with the FMCSA to enact stiff new rules prohibiting commercial drivers from hand-held use of a mobile device.
  5. No Silver Bullets.  Although much of Lahood's emphasis was on distracted driving legislation, regulation and education; he intuitively understood that cell phone use while driving was much more complicated than seat belt use or drunk driving.  As a result, he was always very clear in his opinion that technology -- whether from auto OEMs, wireless carriers, insurance carriers, or start-ups -- would play an important and complementary role in fostering safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving.

It goes without saying that i will miss Mr. Lahood, and i sincerely thank him for all that he did in the fight to prevent distracted driving.

Lahood

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Sprint Offers FleetSafer to Help Employers Prevent Distracted Driving

This week's issue of Telematics Update explains how Sprint teamed up with Aegis Mobility to offer FleetSafer in an effort to help companies promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving on the job.

So why does this partnership make sense?  Here five reasons:

  1. Use of a mobile device while driving causes an employee to be 23X more likely to crash and exposes his/her employer to significant risk and liability.
  2. In today's world, 80% of employers have documented policies with regard to employee use of mobile devices while driving -- but few, if any, have governance tools necessary to ensure compliance.
  3. Sprint's legacy with Nextel push-to-talk is deeply ingrained in commercial fleet operations and Sprint understands that technology will play a huge role in helping businesses foster compliance and minimize distracted driving risks.
  4. FleetSafer software supports a broad range of mobile device types including Android and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets and Kyocera feature phones which creates strong synergy with Sprint's business customer base.
  5. Sprint's ability to include FleetSafer on a customer's existing Sprint bill makes it easy for employers to say yes

Distracted driving is incredibly risky business for employees and employers alike.  Sprint, by joining forces with Aegis Mobility, is doing it's part to help businesses prevent distracted driving.

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The Auto Alliance Survey - Findings Pertinent to Distracted Driving

The Auto Alliance, the trade association for 12 automakers, has launched a project to listen to consumers.  Their first Alliance Automotive Index has a couple useful insights for technology and distracted driving.

Finding #3 – Americans’ biggest concerns about driving are gas prices and distracted drivers, but there is a generation gap on which is more worrisome.

Finding #9 – Americans want to be connected in their cars.  Almost two-thirds of smartphone users (61%) check their phone every hour during the day, and while in their cars, 90% of smartphone users keep their phone in their hand, lap, cup holder or on the passenger’s seat.

You can obtain full downloadable report through their website, and below link:

https://www.autoalliance.org/auto-marketplace/auto-index

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