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Employers continue to be concerned about the risk and liability posed by employee use of mobile devices while driving on the job.  In fact, seven in ten companies have adopted written policies designed to curb employee distracted driving, but only 32% are confident that current enforcement methods are effective at achieving compliance.

These are among the new findings from our Third Annual Enterprise Distracted Driving Survey of 547 fleet safety and risk management professionals.  Other key findings include:

  • “Hands-Free” and “Zero Tolerance” are most popular policies. 45% of existing employer policies prohibit all use, except hands-free.  41% prohibit all use, no exceptions. 12% prohibit texting emailing and browsing.
  • Efforts to enforce distracted driving policies remain steady. 86% of companies report taking some steps to enforce distracted driving policies. 
  • Confidence is lacking in current policy enforcement. Confidence in current enforcement efforts is limited. Only 32% report they are “very confident” that current methods are effective. 60% are “somewhat confident”, while 8% are “not confident”.
  • Interest in policy technology continues to grow.  22% of companies plan to evaluate either device-based software, device analytics or in-vehicle cameras within the next twelve months to better enforce compliance with distracted driving policies.
  • Android™ and iPhone® smartphones are fast growing, while Blackberry and Push-to-Talk (PTT) phones are hanging in.  Android™ and iPhone® continue to grow rapidly and now represent 61% of corporate-liable smartphone devices. BlackBerrys have decreased, but remain prominent with 30% market share and appear to have good prospects to maintain share based on customer interest in the new BlackBerry 10 devices.
  • The tablet wave is coming to commercial fleet vehicles. A full 27% of respondents currently equip employee drivers with some form of tablet computer. Of those, 73% are iPads and 27% are Android.  Prospects for continued growth appear strong as 8% of total respondents indicate plans to deploy tablets to employee drivers within the next 12 months.

To download the full survey analysis, please visit: http://info.aegismobility.com/2013-distracted-driving-survey-results/

ABOUT THE SURVEY

These findings are based on an online survey of 547 fleet safety and risk management professionals across a variety of industries in North America.  It is the third year in a row the survey has been conducted.  Responses were taken over 3 weeks from March 20 until April 10, 2013.  The margin of error for the full sample is ± 5.0 percentage points.

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The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released its fifth annual "Traffic Safety Culture Index" this month and the messages related to distracted driving due to mobile device use are clear:

  • Nearly all drivers (95.7%) say that drivers text messaging or emailing are a very serious threat to their personal safety
  • 94.5 percent say that they personally consider it unacceptable for a driver to type a text or email while driving
  • 79.8 percent believe that most other people where they live consider it unacceptable to text while driving

However, contrasted against this near-universal belief that texting or emailing while driving is extremely dangerous:

  • More than 1 in four (26.6%) say that they have typed or sent a text message or email in the past 30 days while driving
  • More than 1 in three (34.7%) say they have read a text message or email while driving during this time

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This "do as I say, not as I do" paradigm is one of the reasons that the problem of distracted driving is difficult to solve through education and law enforcement alone. The statistics prove that, although people understand the dangers and face penalties, they continue the behaviours.

At Aegis, we share the objectives of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to value and pursue traffic safety. We are committed to helping reduce the estimated 8,000 deaths on American highways in 2011 due to mobile device use.

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Resolutions to change behavior and live healthier lives are common at this time of year. And according to a story in today's New York Times, employers are getting in on the act by adopting policies aimed at weaning employees off mobile devices.

Huh?

I thought mobile productivity was good for business? I thought smart phones and tablets exponentially increased worker productivity? So why on earth would companies want to moderate employee use of mobile devices?

Here's three reasons why:

  1. A recently released study conducted by Daimler, found that "switching-off" after work is critical to being a balanced and productive employee.
  2. A separate study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while mobile phones were valued as a way to stay productive, there were significant downsides to being tethered to your work at all times.
  3. Evidence shows that companies face significant liability stemming from employee use of mobile devices while driving.

Despite the fact that some forward-thinking companies are beginning to understand the need to balance mobile productivity with employee health and corporate risk concerns; many others still expect employees to answer the phone or respond to the email at any hour of the day under any circumstances, even while driving.

So where does corporate America go from here, you ask?

The answer isn't 100% clear, but Sherry Turkle, a professor at M.I.T. and author of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other,” offers a glimpse into the future.  Ms. Turkle predicts that more and more companies will simply ask the question, "how do we help our employees make healthy choices with regard to use of mobile devices in the context of work?"

Healthy Choices

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