Cogosense Blog

Cogosense's Driver Behaviour Blog

How Employers Can Use Big Data To Prevent Distracted Driving

Does your company have a policy that prohibits employees from using their mobile phone while driving on the job?  If so, then you’re normal.  In fact, 80% of employers today have adopted some type of policy pertaining to distracted driving.

Does your company have the ability to measure whether or not your employee drivers are complying with the documented policy?   If not, then you’re normal.  In fact, the vast majority of companies with distracted driving policies have zero ability to empirically measure compliance.

This, of course, is a serious business problem because “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

The good news is that there are now simple tools that companies can use to modify employee driving behaviors.  Products such as DriveCam, SmartDrive, Geotab, Inthinc and others provide real time feedback to drivers and automatically collect the data necessary to measure and manage driver compliance with company policy.

Furthermore, a new and innovative service called FleetSafer Vision has been developed to empirically measure employee use of mobile devices while driving.  The inexpensive cloud-based risk management service correlates driving data from telematics systems and with mobile device usage data from carrier billing systems, email servers and other sources to measure cell phone use while driving.

So, why wouldn’t a company simply tell employees not to use their phones while driving?  It’s a fair question, but unfortunately, when it comes to cell phone use while driving “telling someone to stop” is not sufficient to change his or her behavior.

Case in point.  Check out the results of this recent FleetSafer Vision audit conducted on behalf of a large public utility company with a strong safety culture and a well-documented policy prohibiting use of mobile devices while driving.  The audit itself was based on three weeks of driving data and device usage data, and the results quite sobering.  94% of the sample drivers violated the policy at least once during the three weeks and 43% of all trips had at least one cell phone distraction. 

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By simply studying the data that already exists, employers can see not only macro compliance trends but they can also spot very granular risks pertaining to specific employees, or even specific trips. Below is a visual representation of a single trip – from point A to B – including, for example, the near constant cell phone use that occurred during the trip.

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In summary, if you are an employer concerned about risk and liability associated with employee use of mobile devices while driving, then you can create a policy and (A) hope that your employees comply, or (B) know fro certain whether they comply.  All you have to do is look at the big data.

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Celebrating 100 Years of Saving Lives and Reducing Injuries

Founded in 1913, the National Safety Council is a pioneer in helping companies and the public prevent unintentional injuries and deaths by providing leadership, research, education and advocacy to reduce risks and improve safety at work, at home and in communities.

b2ap3_thumbnail_NSC-logo-blog.pngTo fulfill this mission, the NSC partners with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to focus where the most preventable injuries and deaths occur. As a result, the NSC has spearheaded many transportation safety initiatives, including those involving defensive driving, occupant restraints, speeding and drunk driving.

In 2009, with irrefutable evidence of the dangers of cell phone use in vehicles, the Council became the first organization to call for U.S. motorists to stop using all cell phones and text messaging devices while driving. Active efforts are also underway with the governors and legislators in every state to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

In 2011, the NSC recognized that technology would be a powerful complement to regulatory action and behavioral change, and partnered with Aegis Mobility to promote safe and legal use of mobile devices while driving. The nation’s leading companies are now focused on increasing employee safety and reducing liability associated with their cars, buses, trucks and other fleet vehicles.

This year, on February 28 at the San Diego Convention Center and on April 25 at the Long Beach Convention Center, the NSC will sponsor a seminar to help corporations manage their distracted driving risks, covering:

  • How employers can be held liable if an employee is involved in a crash where cell phone use was a factor.
  • What to include in a cell phone policy.
  • How to build management support for a cell phone policy.
  • How to educate employees about the policy and ensure compliance.

For more information and to register, click here.

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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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The problem of "Do as I say, not as I do".

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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Three Reasons Why Companies Are Weaning Employees Off Mobile Devices

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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