Hawaii and Florida are the latest states in the US to sign into law traffic safety bills prohibiting driving while using mobile devices. According to Monash University, drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. The statistics are alarming, and organizations around the country are working to drive change by encouraging new laws and executing public awareness campaigns.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has already proposed Distraction Guidelines for devices integrated into vehicles, and is considering proposing guidelines to address portable devices notbuilt into the vehicle, including aftermarket GPS navigation systems, smart phones and tablets.
While many campaigns have been consumer-focused, businesses are being targeted as well. The number of mobile workers using technology in-vehicle continues to grow. VDC Research estimates 24% of field workers use tablets in their vehicles, and 75% of EMS workers. More than 550 U.S. companies employing 1.5 million people nationwide have committed to enacting anti-distracted-driving employee policies. These policies range from not talking or texting on work-issued mobile phones while driving to eliminating the use of technologies such as tablets and laptops while in the vehicle is in motion.
As we continue to see more guidelines, policies and laws enacted, technology is evolving as well. Fleet managers at utility, law enforcement, first responder and field service organizations are already implementing the latest mobile device safety innovations. From where and how mobile devices are mounted in the vehicle, to voice-activated controls and built-in sensors from innovative companies like Blank-IT that turn off the screen when the vehicle is in motion, the right technology can help limit distracted driving. Visit www.distraction.gov for more information on ending distracted driving both on the job and off. And, learn how Motion is working to improve field service driver safety with our In-Vehicle Computing Solution.
Britton K. Cronin