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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in distracted driving crash

"These people are promoting death"

Posted by on in Buzz and Sightings

"These people are promoting death". Those are strong words but we would do well to heed the source. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Globe-and-Mail.pngNicholas Ashford is professor of technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his quote refers to the auto manufacturers' decisions to prioritize consumer desires for increased technology in vehicles ahead of concerns for safety.

Dr. Ashford was quoted in a recent Globe and Mail article describing the tragic death of Emy Brochu and highlighting that distracted driving now exceeds impaired driving as the greatest cause of death on our roadways.

Aegis has launched TeenSafer to help ensure the safe and responsible use of mobile devices while driving and Aegis is working with partners such as the State of Iowa and Audiovox to bring mass-market solutions to consumers.

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New Distracted Driving "Explainer" Video

Posted by on in Buzz and Sightings

Video is very helpful to animate concepts. This is especially useful for new products in new markets where there is not a mature understanding of solutions.

We've just released a new "explainer" video which provides an overview of the distracted driving problem for corporations and our solution.

Thanks to the folks at Basetwo Media for their great work in the video production!

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2003-2013 By The Numbers

Posted by on in Opinion and Analysis

Regardless of our political beliefs, we can all agree that the loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade is tragic. But ABC News recently reminded us that, over the same 10 year period, we have lost more than five times as many lives to distracted driving accidents on our own highways here at home.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that distracted driving is a contributing factor in more than 386,000 injuries and more than 3,000 deaths every year.

To put that into perspective, you could fill any NFL stadium more than five times with the number of people who are injured by distracted drivers every year.

To put a finer point on it, in the last 10 years, America has lost five times as many husbands and wives, sons and daughters to distracted driving than to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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"Learning occurs through recognition of error". It is a simple precept. Yet, the recent train wreck in Spain that killed 79 people is a tragic reminder that human behaviour is sometimes very difficult to modify despite the recognition of error.

Stemming from the 2008 train accident in California that killed 25 people and injured 135 others and the irrefutable research regarding the dangers of distraction due to mobile device use while operating motor vehicles, mobile device use policies are increasingly common across corporate America.

However, leaders in safety are well aware that paper policies and education related to mobile device use in vehicles are not enough. Safety audits and primary research results show that policy infractions invariably reach 100% of employees when measured over a 30-60 day period.

Technology safety solutions can help us address the problems that the pervasive use of mobile products has created. Policy conformance and enforcement tools can assist employees in adhering to policies and can help mitigate a major source of risk and liability for corporations.

Our goal at Aegis is help create a safer environment for employees and the public at large. Call us to schedule a demo today.

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In May 2012, a jury in Texas handed down a $21 million verdict against Coca-Cola for damages arising from an August 2010 distracted driving crash involving one of its employees using a mobile phone while driving. As we head into 2013, here are three important lessons commercial risk and fleet managers can learn from this historic case:

  1. When it happens to you, the plaintiffs will sue:  Thomas J Henry, the lead plaintiff's attorney said in a press release, "From the time I took the Coca-Cola driver's testimony and obtained the company's inadequate cell phone driving policy, I knew we had a corporate giant with a huge safety problem on our hands."  Furthermore, he said, "I hope the verdict sends a message to corporate America that you can't have employees on a cell phone and endanger the motoring public."The lesson is simple: plaintiffs are watching and waiting to sue employers whenever employees crash due to a cell phone related distractions.
  2. A written cell phone use policy is not enough:  The plaintiff successfully argued that Coca-Cola’s cell phone policy for its delivery drivers was “vague and ambiguous” and it wasn't enforced in any meaningful way. Simply stated, if written policies are not enforced, then written policies will not minimize employer risk and liability.
  3. Policy enforcement is critical: Case law in the US clearly shows that employers should expect to be held accountable for damages that occur when employees drive distracted. Therefore, to truly reduce risk in the eyes of a jury, a company should consider utilizing technology best practices to actively or passively encourage safe and legal use of mobile devices while employees are driving.

As we close out 2012 and head into 2013, the year ahead promises mobile devices than ever in the hands of employee drivers.

Whether employees use the devices in a safe and legal manner while driving is entirely up to the employer. Fleet operators who stand by and do nothing will be sued and vicariously implicated by juries when the inevitable crashes occur. Fleets who adopt policies, conduct training and utilize best practices to encourage compliance will save lives and dramatically reduce risk and liability.

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